About two or three years after the turn of the millennium, Outcomes Based Education (OBE) came in for some heavy criticism with many of its critics writing it off as a complete failure. The main argument was that since it had clearly failed in some of the first world countries of this world, then why on earth were some of the developing nations insisting on implementing it?
It seems like these critics were missing something however since only now is really the time for us to look back at OBE and gauge its effectiveness. Only now can we look at the products of this education system and give a more accurate review of whether or not it was successful…
As much as those who were against OBE pretty much had their way by way of getting it officially scrapped, its legacy lives on. OBE was never truly scrapped because as much as the education system the world continued with wasn’t officially referred to as Outcomes Based, if you look at how education has been delivered you’ll realise that it is indeed every bit as Outcomes Based as it was when it was officially going by that reference.
At my institution of learning we make no secret about the fact that we are indeed facilitating through an outcomes based system, but if you were to really analyse any medium of instruction in this day and age you’d be blind not to spot any outcomes based elements. It’s no longer about studying hard and memorising stuff to recite through writing standardised tests or exams. Instead, learners are encouraged to solve certain problems, preferably real-world problems, using the educational tools imparted to them by their educators.
The modern day economically active individual
The manner in which we work today as children who graduated from the Outcomes Based system is perhaps a question of discipline more than anything else, in that the average individual who is economically active would choose something like working remotely any day over being cooped up in a cubicle. Whether they can actually make it work or not is a matter of discipline and not a matter of whether or not their thinking and approach is an outcomes based one.
After all, the digital nomad who writes from a remote location can do just as good a job as an in-house writer who constantly has to be under supervision from their immediate authoritative figure. At the end of the day however, it’s about the final product – it’s about the outcome.
Bringing things back closer to home however, the “take a girl child to work” initiative our own pupils participated in demonstrated the essence of what OBE is all about. One of the pupils who visited the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein decided she perhaps doesn’t want to be lawyer herself, but she shared her experience with the entire group and many of the learners who were assigned to different workplaces were inspired by her experience and they now wish to be in the legal field.
So it’s about one pupil in the group acting as an information and knowledge inlet through which the entire group benefits!