This is a simple diagram, for it is meant to get people to start looking at education from a different perspective.
By real-world problems I mean the problems that are actually faced by the people. It could be your own need to be able to do what matters to you the most, and you can use the learning resources to acquire skills required to execute it. It could be an effective and cheap early test for pancreatic cancer as developed by the young Jack Andraka or the supercapacitor developed by Eesha Khare that holds the promise of charging your smartphone in 20-30 seconds. Not an imaginary problem statement given to you for 10 marks or a semester-end college project that is thrown away after giving it a grade. How many real-world problems did you solve by the time you finished with your school/college education? Would you feel more motivated to work on a problem because it is for 10 marks or because it could potentially help 10 million people?
In the pursuit of a degree, people tend to game the system to get that ‘qualification proof’ using the shortest path possible to ‘crack’ an exam, when the recommended requirement is to do the learning in a rigorous manner.
Exams and tests will still be crucial, but not for granting degrees, rather to give feedback to the students and teachers about their learning progress and which areas to work on. Such exams should be more frequent with real-time results.
Today’s ‘degree’ that we earn by working in a closed system is analogous to the money in many ways. It doesn’t have real value in itself. It undergoes inflation. If everyone has the same degree, then the value of that degree falls.
This ‘common sense education system’ focuses on CREATING ‘value’. To understand the difference between money and value, please read this answer on Quora: http://ow.ly/l4d55
But when you are setting yourself to use your skill to solve a problem, you actually learn more and add value to the world. You will feel more inspired to work on it because it is directly going to improve people’s lives. Also, finding the shortest path to solve a real-world problem doesn’t make you dishonest, it makes you genius- because it is adding a real value to the world!
Hence I believe that the education system must be aligned towards acquisition of skills and solving real world problems, instead of worrying about acquiring this certificate and that degree. Solving a real problem would directly prove that you are qualified.