Here’s an animated PSA narrated/made by Sir Ken Robinson as a supplementary support to my qualms about the problems I find with the educational system: ”The problem is they’re trying to meet the future by trying to do what they did in the past.” – Ken Robinson http://www.youtube.com/embed/zDZFcDGpL4U
High school sucked. Apart from the fact that it holds the memory of the most awkward years of your life, it had what is known as “standardized education”. I don’t know if your school had the same thing, but my hyperconservative fundamentalist Catholic girls school did.
It’s pretty self explanatory – everyone gets the same lesson, at the same pace, being expected to get the same results. Oops, correction: everyone is expected to get the same results, but to the rest of you who can’t (yes, I am looking at you math-illiterate idiots), make sure no one gets anything below a 75/100 alright? Or else, you’ll be forced to repeat a year expected to learn the same thing that wasn’t within your aptitude in the first place. And if on that second year you still can’t get it, you’re out.
First of all, everyone who’s anyone living in this planet knows that people can be vaguely split into two categories – left brained and right brained. This ad from Mercedes Benz illustrates my point perfectly.
In my high school, the maths and the sciences were considered the cream of the crop subjects. And the arts, all extra curricular. That is to say: if you failed Math and Biology, you either repeat a year or get kicked out. If you failed art, meh, no big deal. (it’s not even required in the first place)
There were over 200 people in one batch, and who’s to say that everyone had the same level of thinking, or at the very least, even the same kind of thinking? Our class president thought in such a way as “If A leads to B, then B will lead to C.” whereas I had the thought process of “If A leads to B, then A can lead to the rest of the letters of the alphabet.” Just so you standardized educators know, we’re not all Da Vinci’s who can moonlight as scientists when we’re not painting the ceilings of great chapels in the Vatican City.
And what about kids who are dyslexic? Or those with ADD or ADHD? Do you fail them because they can’t bring themselves to focus on your boring lectures? Do you kick them out when it’s already obvious that they’re the ones who need more help than other kids who already know what they’re doing? Seriously, standardized education seems to me like it enjoys kicking people when they’re already down.
My proposition: Reevaluate your HOPELESSLY ARCHAIC educational system and consider that people fall into two categories, if not more. Screen kids before accepting them into your schools. Standardize all the basics – basic math, basic grammar, basic science – and after that, give them a choice to either pursue maths & sciences, or arts & humanities. Just thinking about my time trying to solve for X when I would have had much more progress reading my favorite fantasy novel makes me cringe for the other kids who are going through the same thing as I did. You may also want to read Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking if you still can’t grasp the concept that there are people who just think differently than others.
2.) Religion as a Basic Subject
I will probably get a lot of internet flame for this one but think about this: Why is Philosophy being taught only in senior year college when the level of thinking it requires merits the same amount as studying religion?
All great and known philosophers have discussed their take on religion so you can see it’s closely connected. And speaking as objectively as I can, you can neither prove or disprove religion as no concrete, tangible evidence has been brought forth to nail it down to a science. Religion, whatever it may be, requires faith. And faith in a literal sense means “belief not based on proof” (see: dictionary.com) Can we really teach our kids something possibly untrue?
Whenever I think about the possibility of a deity, (for example: the biblical God) I try to trace the present to the roots of it. Here I am, living and breathing. I was born from my parents, my parents were born from their parents, and this lineage is traced down to the very first ancestors of man (To others, they are Adam and Eve; to others, this ancestor is the first single celled organism). Then I think about that one ancestor. Where did it exactly come from? A creator? God? But where did God come from? My great theology professor told me that the concept of God is too huge for us measly people to understand. AND THAT’S EXACTLY IT! Religion, God, whoever – it’s all too HUGE even for geniuses to understand. If Plato can’t possibly grasp the existence of a god, how do you expect a kindergartener to fathom what the hell you’re saying about religion?
Religion is supposed to be a a choice, not a law. Sometimes in our old school, teachers would be all “if you don’t do this or obey that, you won’t go to heaven.” And naturally, as kids, you’re taught that going to hell would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to you. So you obey. (I would call that a little manipulative. Yup.)
My proposition: Offer religion classes as electives in university. If you understand that kids can’t grasp the concept of philosophy, also understand that religion is just as perplexing, if not more.
Further reading on the faults of the educational system: http://www.good.is/post/a-13-year-old-s-slavery-analogy-raises-some-uncomfortable-truths-in-school/. A 13 year old girl’s “controversial” essay about the sad truths about school causes her to be withdrawn from it. Sigh.
Apologies for the angry undertone. It’s all mostly directed at the narrow mindedness of my old high school. (!@#$%)