A Greatly Troubled System
October 27, 1998
The formal education system used in today's schools is greatly troubled indeed. We are oblivious to the hundreds of thousands of students oppressed by tyranny that encapsulates our schooling system. From homework and grades to the progression of school; schools need changes. This system stands waiting, while the talents of many young men and women are exposed to a backward system with hypocritical framework. One of the many examples is the policy of homework. It seems that this tends to be abused to give students mere busy work, while students in their free time should be relaxing, and doing activities they enjoy. Yet another flaw among the many, is the grading methods used today. Afterall, a letter or percentile could never fully represent a human being's interpretations, with many positive and negative sides and emotions. These "judgements" tend to cause for great stress and are in effective. Finally the last point to be stated in this essay (seeing as if all the points were stated this would turn into a novel and not an essay) is the matter of the pace of school and specialization in courses. Courses should be more varied and options given as well as changing the pace and time of school. Plain and simple; a more flexible form of education would prove to benefit everyone. With greater specialization, the learning process can become quicker, more efficient and less tedious. In the following paragraphs the points stated above will be further stressed.
The concept of homework in our formal education is wide spread propaganda. This highly unconstitutional form of schooling tends to be more busy work under the much repeated cover of 'reinforcing subjects learned.' This disguise has flailed for years but the truth shall soon be found. Homework crowds the free time of students; free time that should be used to do other productive activities. Homework causes much stress to students which leads to the deterioration of interest in learning and eventually all hatred of anything school related. As Mark Twain so beautifully put it, "Don't let your schooling interfere with your education." This quote referring to the fact that experience in life can be gained outside of school in great abundance and proves the production of a much better education than that of sitting in a class-room scribbling characters onto paper. With a slightly longer and more efficient school day, time could be optimized and homework could be abolished in its entirety. A true balance of work and play could be formed leading to a bounteous and supreme education.
The formal education system could be incredibly more productive and beneficial if our system of merit was modified. The 'godly' judgement made by teachers seems to have taken on catastrophic influence; such influence that could change the life of a young individual. When we take a step back and look at the logic of such a concept it is highly ironic. A percentile or letter, representing a student's performance over a period of time seem logical? Later in life do adults working for a living receive such judgement? Must men and women of today invest sweat, blood and tears into a silly number? The answer plain and simply is no. With some changes in our system we could produce an ideal system devoid of formal grading. Teachers could merely make a more human judgement of the personality, pro's, con's, and things to improve in a student. A modified system of grading would be greatly more efficient and prevent the unneeded anguish of thousands.
Another one of the major perils in our system of education is the progression of learning from Kindergarten until, for most people college. The length and pace of school is in dire need of reform. More specialized classes need to be established creating a more efficient school day. Courses should be more varied and specialized for students with special strengths. Accomplishing this however, certainly not an easy task, will optimize learning for formal higher education. It seems ironic that in this modern world we must spend so much time and effort learning for 17 years and still seem to have an average education. Afterall, two hundred years ago, one was considered highly educated if they could read and write. And even 50 years ago, a high school degree was greatly appraised upon, however, now it seems even a good record and a college degree makes you merely mediocre. Why don't people realize the truth, that people are all specialized in their talents and interests and a more specialized system would benefit everyone?
I will restate that through the modifications in homework policies, course options and specialization, and the grading system the modern system of education would become more efficient and much more of a comfortable environment. Students will learn things they are interested in, in a system of such compatibility that young individuals may excel greatly in their learning. Through this, students would develop more advanced thought process at earlier ages, minimizing the years of schooling or possibly even better conversely expand on the material learned. Changes in homework policies would positively affect the atmosphere and attitude of school and students. With modified merit students would learn to work and improve individually on weaknesses and excel with their strengths. With the new millenium coming up a reform in our school system is inedible. This archaic system still used in this modern day and age shall finally fall to the development of a superior system of education Yes, with major changes in the formal system of education it could be a certainly ideal system of learning.