The Pitfalls Of Our Education System

The Pitfalls Of Our Education System

I think a lot of people will agree with me, especially students when I say that, The school system is inclined towards one type of student.

What type?

The type that can sit still and listen to lessons, do all of their homework and obediently throw everything they've memorized back up for their teachers in a test. The system only pretends to cater for students who have different learning styles and who can’t study a meaningless set of facts printed on black and white paper – not to mention trying to listen to a teacher drone on for hours. This often leaves students disengaged and thus at a disadvantage because their grades incorrectly portray their “intelligence”. Worse, it affects the psychological well-being of the students for the rest of their lives.

The whole education system looks to manufacture one type of student and doesn’t take into consideration the fact that students are individuals, each with their own set of strengths.

The Pitfalls Of Our Education System

Schools need to stop trying to manufacturing doctors, engineers and accountants and lawyers. More than foot specialists and chartered accountants and corporate litigators, the world needs global thinkers and problem solvers.

Schools train students to look for the generic “right” answers to problems. They’re so focused on ticking off a checklist drawn from the curriculum guideline, that they seem to forget that the world doesn’t work to a syllabus.

The best world-changing ideas come from people who can think independently and innovatively, but schools don’t simply don't encourage originality in any real way. An education should nurture students' own passions and interests, and to help us to develop and test great ideas of our own, not just to learn about Newton’s or Shakespeare's, for God's sake. I'm sick of learning about Newton!

The teacher’s main objective seems to be to cover everything that will be in the final exit exam and not to deviate from the curriculum. But how does this fit with what students want, and with what the world wants? Students should be free to explore and ask questions, not just be given pre-moulded answers. Have I forgotten to mention that most of these are hardly used in the real world!!! I don't see my uncles or dad or even my mother working on a trigonometric equation or even an integral problem before they decide to watch TV or cook food. I don't see anyone working on quadratic equations before leaving the house to know how much time they'll take to reach their destination! Have you? I don't think so.

The Pitfalls Of Our Education System

The education system teaches subject-confined skills. An experiment write-up for Biology is Biology specific and the skill cannot be transferred to Physical Science because the process of writing a hypothesis or setting out a table is completely different. A Business Economics essay has its own format and is written in bullet points, a practice which is unforgivable in English.

All of this teaches students to put things in a box and file things separately in their mental library. LIFE DOESN’T WORK IN BOXES!

We focus on the nitty-gritties and the details when we should be broadening our horizons and learning how something like a war in Syria doesn’t only effect Syrians but South Africans too. Nothing in life is ever isolated like the sections in a Geography exam. I was so glad when I didn't have to study Geography anymore!

Teachers are given too much power over students. It’s a tyranny where if the teacher doesn’t like you, your marks will be affected. And hey, this has happened to me. So don't tell me that this isn't the case.They can be extremely biased towards students because they have a set opinion of certain kids. It seems that you create a reputation at school early on, and that reputation follows you for the rest of your time at school.

Teachers seem to be oblivious as to the influence they have over your self-confidence and thus your future. (Or maybe they know, but don't care.) It’s like when your Grade 10 English teacher tells you that your creative writing skills are bad and from then on, you have a constant mental block where it comes to anything creative or any task that has to be written in paragraphs. They can make or break a student, and the problem is that teachers 'know better', so students believe them. Teachers shouldn’t be allowed to grade and criticize “intelligence” or “creativity” – they simply don't know enough. Rather, teachers should try to help develop those skills constructively.

And there are many other problems with the 'education' system.

It’s unfair that boys should suffer in classrooms because teachers tend to prefer the girls because they “work harder” and are capable of “studying” and “behaving” and have “neat handwriting”. And it's just as unfair to be reinforcing the fact that girls are 'better behaved' because this makes them into stereotypical 'meek and mild' women instead of independent go-getters. Like seriously?! WTH?!

I remember the last day of our schools. Everyone was promising to stay in touch and I was excited too... Excited to finish school officially and forever...

[I was going through a rough patch during the University entrance exams and I was so frustrated. High School literally messed me up, messed me up emotionally. It was nerve-wracking. And I'm glad I'm done with it forever now.]

[As you guys must have noticed, this take is different to what I usually write about. I tried something different and I had this saved as a draft for a while now, and I finally decided to post this. Hopefully, you guys liked it. ]

All love,

Angelina25 <3

The Pitfalls Of Our Education System
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  • IlyaTheImpaler

    > "The type that can sit still and listen to lessons, do all of their homework and obediently throw everything they've memorized back up for their teachers in a test"

    Trust me when I say, you want to study a course that you will be able to pass if you put in the effort... i. e. "sit still and listen to lessons, do all of your homework and obediently throw everything you've memorized back up for your teachers in a test"
    because when you take serious courses in a decent university (that actually aim to "manufacture doctors, engineers etc.") , none of these works, you might not pass even if you do all of the above perfectly, and THEN, you will have a different complaint.
    (for example, it's pretty easy to identify the engineering students in my program, they're are not used to serious mathematics, they need a manual and formulas and concrete examples for everything, I don't think most people are unlike them in that aspect.)
    Or you're talking about high school, I don't know I consider high school knowledge trivial enough for self study

    >The best world-changing ideas come from people who can think independently and innovatively but schools don’t simply don't encourage originality in any real way. An education should nurture students' own passions and interests, and to help us to develop and test great ideas of our own, not just to learn about Newton’s or Shakespeare's, for God's sake. I'm sick of learning about Newton!"

    From my experience, originality is encouraged, it's just that quite rarely you have a truly original and successful student. The only original students I know are those who mastered commonly taught techniques and know where to make a refinement. It's probably shocking to you but the students who later become successful physicists with novel ideas of their own, they studied Newton very well :)) It's called standing on shoulders of giants.

    >All of this teaches students to put things in a box and file things separately in their mental library. LIFE DOESN’T WORK IN BOXES
    >The education system teaches subject-confined skills

    If they categorize knowledge into small digestible boxes and feed you, you complain about freedom, you complain that they don't make the connections for you (lol), that the spoonfeeding is not enough...
    If they don't categorize the knowledge for you, you will simply be lost.

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    • >Schools need to stop trying to manufacturing doctors, engineers and accountants and lawyers.
      >More than foot specialists and chartered accountants and corporate litigators, the world needs global thinkers and problem solvers.

      Funny how you mention problem solvers, because it is usually the mathematicians, the computer scientists, the engineers, those who studied specific knowledge and then apply them in different contexts, those are good problem solvers.
      What do the "global thinkers" who didn't learn specialized knowledge in school solve?

      Please don't lump Bill Gates or Zuckerberg or Elon Musk into this type, they spent a lot of time studying "specialist knowledge" before starting their companies

      If I open a company I wouldn't want to hire a guy whose only qualification is the title "global thinker" he gave himself i. e. I wouldn't trust a guy who can't master some specific technical task to deal with real world problems, because real world problems are complex.

    • "Have I forgotten to mention that most of these are hardly used in the real world!!! I don't see my uncles or dad or even my mother working on a trigonometric equation or even an integral problem before they decide to watch TV or cook food. I don't see anyone working on quadratic equations before leaving the house to know how much time they'll take to reach their destination! Have you? I don't think so."
      Because watching TV or cooking food isn't what productive people spend the most of their life doing (I hope)
      You basically said how basic things in math don't help with basic things in life. Sure, but more complicated things in math are indispensable for complicated and important things in life. And if you can't do basic things as trig or integrals, you can't grasp more complicated abstractions in math. An education hopefully helps you deal with the complicated things in life, of course math is probably not useful if all you do is watch tv or cook food.

    • To be more specific ( I know you hate specific)
      Say they teach you general problem solving in life, to plan how to invest when you have 100 options available (banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and investment services etc.) with budget of 1 millions, some stocks have long holding durations, some have short durations, what about random price change over periods?
      How do you minimize the risk, while keeping the return high for these 100 options while also satisfy the budget make sure there's no short lived stock?
      What's that? you don't know specific knowledge about finance? you don't know optimization? you don't even know matrix vectors inequalities?
      So I'd say the world needs less pretenders who claim to be a generalist while can't even solve a simple specific task

      Try go to a school where every class is "self study about anything you like in life", you might like that though you would have to give up hope on being able to do anything useful.

  • This was great!!! So informative and well thought-out and crafted!!! Great work!!! and a great mytake!!!

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    • Thank you Payno!

    • Thank you, but does not make me feel good that I am currently a part of that system... :(

    • Well, there's not much we can do about it. Just hope that one day, it'll become better

    • Show All

Most Helpful Girls

  • VixenRach

    Really good take, I agree 😊

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  • Penelope_

    Interesting take!

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • zagor

    One of the points of learning things like Mathematics is not just to memorize equations but to learn logic and how to approach other problems. We need more people who can do that, instead of all these "leaders" who take an emotional approach to issues.

  • monkeynutts

    Very well written, thoughtful, and valid arguments.

  • lpoots

    once you have forgotton everything you were taught at school
    all you are left with is education

  • Great take

  • inciteful, making me forget law school

  • Marie1996

    Good article, I agree with this information.

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