Suggestions for changing education in the United States
Our country’s education system has proven inadequate in terms of providing a meaningful education for each person. Instead of teaching children about how to critically analyze data and to draw applicable conclusions, this system that has been implemented emphasizes the repetition and sudden regurgitation of facts that hampers the abilities of children to develop their critical thinking and analysis skills. Teaching students to abide a by set of standards instead of letting them develop their own thought process has proven detrimental towards creating a society that maximizes its educational potential.
For many years, I’ve gone to school and have constantly heard complaints about what appears to most students as a tedious chore. School is viewed simply as an inconvenience instead of a tool that could be used to maximize each student’s potential. One can also witness the dismay present on the teacher’s faces as they don’t realize the methods they use in general are incapable of fueling student interest in education. Having observed these things, it becomes apparent that education indeed is an important facet to how our society runs and is also a factor which can be used to determine how much of our potential we actually realizing.
Now that the fundamental problem has been outlined, what can we do to solve these deep-rooted issues? Well, there are other methods of education that have been implemented throughout the country that contain intriguing facets that could certainly prove useful in terms of improving the quality of the nation’s schools. For example, the Montessori method emphasizes certain items that simply aren’t given ample time within the time-based public school system. For one, less emphasis is placed on the mundane and repetitive note-taking that takes place within a normal classroom and instead value is placed on interaction with the environment that’s given. This enables students to understand that the world isn’t some pragmatic and predictable place, rather, that the problems that exist in our world must be solved with unprecedented methods that cannot be taught within a setting that is predictable and repetitive. Also, although this method places a modicum too much emphasis on “individual” learning, it does make a fair point in understanding that each person has their capabilities that need to be catered to rather than the person conforming to a singular method of teaching.
Most students within America tend to view education as merely their own, as if their views and opinions have no impact on other people. Since no efforts are made to implement education that’s rooted around human interaction, each person views themselves as in a competition versus other students to see who can earn the highest marks and in the process reinforce the ideals that hold back humanity from reaching its maximum potential. This reality isn’t inherently nefarious or anything, however, there are changes that could be made to build a more solidified foundation from which students could learn to improve themselves instead of being subject to artificial competition. For example, we can apply a Marxist analysis of education and in the process exhibit some potential intrinsic changes, such as abolishing the Standards of Learning Exams which place emphasis on remembering information rather than increasing general learning ability. In this process of radical change, the system of basing student knowledge on empirical grades would have to be rid of, as many truly capable students are not having their skills maximized by conforming to this dreaded system that values repetition over critical thought. Although grades aren’t entirely useless, what is more important to understand is that their high placing in terms of having the exclusive ability to determine the “best” students isn’t viable, since education has many forms that this system in use doesn’t much if any value in. For example, not enough emphasis is placed on student’s understanding of how the world works since they are usually taught the world is a pragmatic, rational, and straightforward place within the classroom, which can easily be disproved of course.
Lastly, how can a system of artificial competition be further combated? The Harkness method, even with its imperfections, has some answers to this essential question. Basically, this method places an essential emphasis on group learning and evaluation of differing opinions that stem from this learning method. Instead of dead-eyeing notes that don’t connect with the student’s intellectual powers, the method of group learning ensures that each student who invests the time and effort gets a worthwhile educational experience since their knowledge is applied to material life through discussion. If students could see and apply their knowledge to their lives, it certainly makes education much more meaningful and stimulating to the mind as they can finally realize the fruits of their labor. Such an educational process that encourages collaboration instead of abstract individual competition is invaluable to humanity’s potential
Regardless of whoever becomes the next president, it’s clear that these changes that have been proposed will likely be vehemently rebuffed and not considered as they place the dominance of society by the rich and influential in question. However, I challenge whoever take the presidency to for once consider the wishes of the people that they claim to represent to seriously consider an eccentric method to solve unorthodox problems. Although expecting for any meaningful change within the climate of Washington politics is truly foolish, it would be worthwhile for some radical ideas to at least be acknowledged instead of having the same ineffective methods applied and blindly justified
Peace out, Tony Holt
“Introduction to Montessori Method.” American Montessori Society, Web. 2nd November,
“Introducing and Using the Harkness Table.” www.nais.org. American Association of
Independent Schools, Web. 2nd November 2016.
“Marxism and Education.” www.Marxists.org. Marxists Internet Archive, Web, 2nd November,