Is school (for children) a waste of time and money?

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  1. peeples profile image92
    peeplesposted 10 years ago

    Is school (for children) a waste of time and money?

    Thinking back to elementary, middle, and high school I can remember very little that I have actually needed to know outside of basic math and reading. So is there really a purpose to all those years of schooling. Is there a better way that could be more effective in teaching life lessons that doesn't involve this mass schooling system we have now?

  2. billybuc profile image85
    billybucposted 10 years ago

    This coming from a former teacher of eighteen years....tough question. I think there are a lot of intangibles that comes from school that are good....on the other hand, the quality of education has dropped so drastically that it is almost a farce.  I'm not sure I can answer this question with any conviction either way. smile

    1. peeples profile image92
      peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed, there's both good and bad in it. For me that means it needs reevaluating!

  3. HeatherH104 profile image78
    HeatherH104posted 10 years ago

    Schools are still structured the same as it was 50+ years ago yet the job market looks nothing like it did back then. I thought the purpose of school was to prepare kids for life. We live in a world where information is so accessible there is no need for monotonous memorization. Not that all memorization should be eliminated, obviously times tables and other things still need to be there but learning about and relevance are more important. What life and job skills are relevant to the 21st century and how do we incorporate that into schools in a way that's relevant to the kids? Problem is that the school system is something we aren't allowed to criticize or change so I imagine our grandkids are going to be subjected to the same irrelevance we and our kids were forced to endure.

    1. peeples profile image92
      peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Completely agree. When times change our means of being educated must change with them.

    2. Express10 profile image85
      Express10posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I can agree more. For the most part, schools produce worker bees and are inflexible to the job market's ever-changing demands. Kids who are creative and/or want to be self employed have a rougher go of it unless their parents lead by example.

  4. fpherj48 profile image61
    fpherj48posted 10 years ago

    peeples....I can understand how some parents, "today," could come to ask this question.  Having been through the "school thing" and done, over a decade now...I could probably have a very different response, at this point.
    However, relating to your comment, in terms of your own memories of remembering so little outside of math & reading, I can agree only somewhat.  Granted, the single most important aspect of formal schooling is ACADEMICS.  The basic subjects need to be taught well, by experienced and dedicated "teachers," who, ideally, focus on their students and their needs.  I accept that teachers, as well as our educational systems, don't seem to be the quality necessary to turn out academically healthy kids, consistently.
    Having said this, I feel all the "rest," involved with children attending school, is also quite important in forming the whole student/child.  The various departments, (music, art, athletics & physical activities, clubs & special groups) all play a vital role in a youngster's physical, mental, emotional & social growth. 
    Thus, for these reasons, I believe in the importance of a "schooling system," as you say....but certainly would agree that major changes would be very beneficial and should be seriously examined by all Americans, for the sake of our children's future, which is synonymous with the Future of our Country.
    Excellent question.  Thanks for asking, peeples.

  5. brakel2 profile image75
    brakel2posted 10 years ago

    I loved school and learned. My curiosity was insatiable and remains that way. Everything is different now in the electronic age. I have a close relative who is in medical school. School was not a waste of time for him either. It all depends on the motivation  of  the student, parental involvement, and the teacher. Add to that the problems of poverty and other social issues. The bottom line is to never give up on trying to teach a child. Never give up on a child. Love them. They are the future of the nation.

  6. johnsonrallen profile image88
    johnsonrallenposted 10 years ago

    I think a large part of the purpose of traditional schooling is learning to interact with your peers. Cooperation, teamwork, stuff like that. Like you, I don't remember most of what I learned in those years. I had a handful of teachers that made a difference in my life and got me interested in writing and thinking for myself- good lessons that were worth the years invested, I believe.

    On the flip side, I do have some relatives and family friends that home school and I can say with 100% certainty those kids are smarter, more educated and "grown up" than other kids their age. My 16 year old niece just had an article published in some way by the Smithsonian Museum. Before that, she won a trip to Europe for her studies as well. However, she is not as socially confident as she should be at her age, due to the lack of interaction with others.

    I wish there were some kind of hybrid system.... my kids are 3 and 4 and a lot of decisions need to be made this coming year!

    1. profile image0
      Doodlebirdposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      You're at the beginning of a new adventure with your little ones.  Make sure you look into Common Core that is in the process of standardizing schools nationwide.

  7. CraftytotheCore profile image76
    CraftytotheCoreposted 10 years ago

    I personally wish they would bring back more agricultural and technical schools.

    One town over we used to have an excellent 4H school.  It's closed.
    In my town, we have a technical school and they've dropped a lot of the programs.  For instance, my friend is a welder.  The tech school dropped the welding program so he has trouble finding interns now. 

    When I went to high school, I was a straight A student (except for geometry which I barely passed with a tutor).  By senior year, I had all of my credits.  I still had to go to school though for that year and I elected all music classes because I played the piano.  That was a huge waste of my time and taxpayer money because I could have been working full-time and saving for college.  (I had 2 jobs in high school).

    My step-son just graduated high school recently.  The same thing happened to him.  He was also a straight A student and had all his required credits at the end of 11th grade.  He needed 1/2 credit to graduate (in gym class of all things).  So, he dropped out, worked full-time in the day and went to night school to graduate. 

    I think with the internet being an avenue where people can pursue education online, and students finishing their credits before 12th grade, I think there are better ways to re-construct our schooling systems.  (Although I do believe a structured, academic atmosphere is a good thing.)

  8. duffsmom profile image59
    duffsmomposted 10 years ago

    Yes there is a purpose. Education is like a pyramid and those years begin the foundation and then that foundation is gradually built upon.  The early years give kids some basic understanding so that when the more difficult subjects come up they are not facing those cold turkey.

    I guess you could use the analogy of sewing. Not many of us could sit down with a pattern and sew a bridal dress.  But those that sew begin with simple stitches, and their knowledge and ability grows until they are able to handle more difficult projects.  Education is much like that.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent comment!

  9. Koyna Sen profile image60
    Koyna Senposted 10 years ago

    Many thinks that the importance of schooling system is getting eroded gradually. But it is to remembered that schooling system can only endow with the tag of qualified in academics and can give you degree for your qualifications. No where else you are going to get this but it is very important to establish yourself in your professional life, where degrees are recognized on first hand. Though we feel that school lessons does not enrich our knowledge, but it plays a profound role in shaping up your educational profile.  We get accustomed with different topics in different subjects, which is quite necessary. So, it is not a good idea to ignore schooling system.

  10. midnightcandle4me profile image59
    midnightcandle4meposted 10 years ago

    Education for children is never a waste of time and money. Education is an investment and no one can take away the knowledge that children will gain through the years. A parent can can enjoy his wealth now but if he will entrust the wealth to an  uneducated son or daughters there is a possibility that the wealth will just dissappear due to lack of foresight in them.

  11. AMAZING THINKER profile image60
    AMAZING THINKERposted 10 years ago

    Education system destroys creativity. With proper guidance you can learn a lot more then you ever could in school. In mass schooling children don't get individual attention--without attention they lose interest and feel learning is a chore they have to do, not something which is fun, and they want. We all love freedom, and that applies to learning too. With more freedom to learn, we can learn anything we want to, and without hating it.

  12. profile image0
    Doodlebirdposted 10 years ago

    Good question!

    The school system is "a" way to receive an education but NOT "the" way.  It is relatively new in the scheme of history and, if you delve into it's history, it is something that the citizens never asked for (they often resisted the compulsory aspect).  It has not improved learning, but through its mechanical nature, it has in fact limited learning.  The scientifically designed and managed system cannot accommodate the unique passions, drive, and inspirations of uniquely made - and unpredictable - people with it's uniformity, inflexibility, and predetermined program.  School is an effort to shape a "unified mind" (Harold Rugg) - a manageable workforce.  That is the "socialization" that everyone claims we need.

    In truth, children are quite capable of learning amazing things outside of institutionalized schooling when given the freedom to follow that inner spark under the mentorship and shepherding (not lecturing) of adults.  Our country was born and thrived in such an environment.  I'd love to see the return of apprenticeships as an option!  Instead, we start out as bright-eyed kids with a love of learning, eager to explore and discover, who are then "molded" to fit the system for the bulk of our youth until we end up as apathetic, unmotivated young adults who doubt our ability to think.  We defer to "experts" to tell us what to think in all matters.

    As a product of the school system, a former private school teacher, and a current homeschooling mom, I have read and written many things on this issue.  I have several hubs about education, homeschooling, and natural learning if you want to go further into it.  In fact, I have been looking deeply into some issues regarding schooling AND homeschooling that has been nagging at me and spent the summer blogging my way through my thoughts (I sort out my thoughts through writing).  You can follow that conversation at .

    Anyway, I see my perspective is in the minority as far as responses thus far.  So, I felt the need to chime in.  I have to ask, in light of all the obvious issues and decline in learning over the past century+, why does everyone defend the system so strongly?  All I ask is that people take an honest look into it and THINK.

    1. HeatherH104 profile image78
      HeatherH104posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      This is a great answer! I don't know if change can happen because of how set the schools are in addition to the schools also being babysitting service. Parents who work aren't going to want to be in charge of educating and finding apprenticeship. Sad

  13. M. T. Dremer profile image86
    M. T. Dremerposted 10 years ago

    There are a few things we remember from school without realizing it. For example, most people learn to read, write and do basic math in school, which is something we use every day without thinking about it. But for me, the value of school is creating a fertile mind for future learning and thinking. No matter how old we get, we can always learn new things. Kind of like the elderly with computers. I've met quite a few that insist it's just a generational gap, and then I see others who have not only figured it out, but have surpassed my own knowledge, even though I grew up with the machines. School teaches us that things CAN be learned, and that challenges are not insurmountable. The most damaging person to society is the one who refuses to learn new things, and school makes learning a concept we can carry with us for a lifetime.

  14. aeraaf patel profile image67
    aeraaf patelposted 10 years ago

    Yes i agree there are many things taught in high school which are not needed in the outside world, but nothing is wasted. Schooling teaches us  in developing our mind and keeping our brains healthy during our developing stages.
    We develop our logical thinking alongside technical skills.

  15. gamesrubble profile image58
    gamesrubbleposted 10 years ago

    For me its  the part of any one's life , carefree fun and free from daily burdens of life , no way we can say its a waste , its a bliss rather ...


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