What public schools do not teach our youth
Do you agree with mandated standardized tests?
Something we Americans often take for granted is a free public education. Everyone has an opportunity to succeed. While the background of a given person may differ, we are still guaranteed a teacher at the front of the classroom whose job is to help you further your mental capacity and lead you to success. Any high school graduate can reflect on those years, remembering studying for hours for tests, writing essays, reading novels, etc. Teachers always told their students that hard-work leads to success. Success may be represented in terms of a grade, but do grades really show what students learn and take away from public schooling? The problem with education nowadays is the following: Instructors do not encourage our nation’s youth to think freely for themselves.
What really is “Thinking Freely?”
According to dictionary.com free thought is defined as thought unrestrained by deference to authority, tradition, or established belief. Freedom of thought is a right given to us by our founding fathers in the American first amendment. So why is it that public schooling do not encourage the art of creative thinking? This leads to quite a conundrum.
The focus of school
The focus on schooling is not where it used to be a hundred years ago; numbers are everything. Schools solely care about having the most students pass state-enforced testing that evaluates skills such as math, English, biology, etc. Public funding to these schools is based off of the results of the numbers. The better you do on standardized tests, the more money the school receives. Thus, public schooling focuses on rigorous curriculums to enforce quality results. Whether this tactic for government to fund schools based off of results is a debate for another day, but the fact that schools are ranked based on who has the best SAT scores and who has the highest graduation rate is not the way to approach the future of America. Telling these students they must do well on these tests or they will be a failure in years to come will only lead to discouragement. Many of the most famous people to arise in history did not do it because they passed the government-enforced test. These tests lead to unnecessary stress on students and boulders on the shoulders of schools that they must keep up. If schools focused less on the numbers and more on the development of the student, graduates would be in a much better place in the long haul.
The advantages of free thinking
While society and culture is considered “free” and we may do whatever we please, many boundaries restrict us from doing so. The freedom of thought is a lost art that has brought to fame some of the most famous philosophers. But you do not have to be a famous philosopher to contemplate a difficult theory. Our youth are not encouraged to think freely of morals, economic problems, etc. that they should otherwise be concerned about. They go through life believing what they are told without questioning the source. For example, a child might go to church with his family his entire life without making a real connection or even a reason as to why he is going. Similarly, our youth may be told by a government teacher a political event that has arisen. Rather than giving the student an opportunity to formulate an opinion, he or she is often derided for not agreeing with the “social norm.” All in all, public schooling needs to evaluate where the direction of school is going and how to encourage an attribute of life that is often thrown under the bus.
© 2014 AConservativeView