Have you ever thought what it would be like if academic institutions such as schools and universities no longer used traditional text books but magazines instead?
We have always perceived books as the main source of academic knowledge. Since a young age in school we have always been given reading lists and have been assigned reading as a task. In most cases professors rely on text books and see them as tools for students to learn and engage with the topic discussed in class. But what if all of a sudden schools began using magazines instead?
Magazines can often be very informative, they go in depth on specific matters, they interview relevant people and source their articles from relevant resources. For instance, I have a yearly subscription to Frankie Magazine, it comes from Australia and is mainly Australian-focused. I learnt a lot about the continent (and not only) simply by reading it.
In the last issue the journalist Sophie Kalagas went through the history of Australian schooling through out the 20th century. She spoke about the 1900s, 20s, 60s and the 80s. The illustrations showed the changes school uniforms underwent through out the century, reflecting the progress and changes the continent was experiencing. The short paragraphs instead covered the social and historical context, school life, discipline, the subjects which were studied and other general curiosities of each decade. In a fun and original way I have learnt what happened in Australia in the 20th century. I found out that minorities suffered under the White Australia Policy at the start of the century and that the Australian food industry flourished in the 20s. During the 60s the country had introduced a free milk scheme to guarantee kids a daily dose of calcium by giving free milk in school. And finally in the 80s; religious studies, Asian languages and sexual education had been introduced to the syllabus as a reflection of the progress and cultural change the country was experiencing.
The idea of using magazines instead of textbooks in higher education is unrealistic because institutions would see it as an extremely radical change, however, I believe this could easily be applied to primary education where the level of depth required is lower. Magazines have nice illustrations that support what is said in the article and have a different writing style compared to text books. I believe children would find it a lot easier and exciting to learn in this way. It would trigger their interest for knowledge and make them more involved in class.
Having fun and enjoying yourself whilst learning is the best and most fruitful way to do it. I really hope that society will start perceiving magazines not only as pleasure reading but also as an insightful source of knowledge capable of shedding light upon important matters that can be adapted to an academic context.