The Flaws in our Education System

Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree it will live it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” Our education system is flawed because of the lack of reaching out to the individuals needs on testing and learning.

Monday- Friday students wake up at 7:30, when the brain doesn’t fully wake up/ function until 10:45. They are unlucky if they have a test in one of their first couple periods. For 7 hours a day students sit in classrooms listening to lectures, instructed to write down and memorize what is on the board. This way of learning is not authentic because it is based on memorization. . Scientists believe most people can retain information about roughly seven things for no more than 20-30 seconds in short-term memory. In one math class students were allowed to have one sheet of paper that had functions written down on them. Students in this class got higher scores on tests than students who were not allowed to have a paper. Teachers make the argument that in college you won’t be given a paper to help you remember things. But even in college students should be given a little slack for being human and not being able to remember every thing they learn weeks up to the test. No one is going to keep you from having a piece of paper in life. Classes give kids the impression that if you make one mistake, everything else you did is wrong as well. This way of thinking is wrong and should not be as common as it is. Calculators are not allowed on some tests. But no one is going to come into your office in 10 years and yell at you for not remembering what the square root of a number is and take your calculator away from you.

Tests are all that matters, test scores are the only thing parents want to know about from their kids. Not that their kid needed more time to take the test, or that they couldn’t remember the right equations or other factors that changed the outcome of the test. Tests are a way of proving how well you were able to memorize things, not proving that you learned anything. Students are memorizing things instead of learning them and understanding them. When copying words that teachers put on the board, they aren’t thinking for themselves, they aren’t getting hands on learning, they are being taught to yet again to memorize things that they haven’t actually learned about and been explained to in detail. Students compete for a letter that they are told defines their intelligence and how successful they will be. This is not the case, Winston Churchill had an average grade of C in school, and Steven Spielberg failed the 6th grade.

The world advances in several aspects every day, phones have been changed from a block hanging on the wall to a pocket size mini computer that’s touch screen. We have cars instead of wagons, we have advanced in nearly every aspect, but the one thing that hasn’t changed has been the education system. Students sit in rows and have to raise their hands to be allowed to talk. Students are told what to think for 8 hours of the day. Not thinking for themselves has killed creativity. The idea of this way of making school was made in the industrial age, it was made to turn out factory workers. Today, students are not going to school to learn to express themselves, to show creativity and to have a voice of their own. They are being trained to be robots and not have a say in anything in their lives. We are not going to school to be factory workers, so why has the concept stayed the same way for all these years? It’s time for a change. Students have to ask to go to the bathroom, but access can be denied. I’ll say it again, access to go to the bathroom is considered a “privilege” No person should have a say in another persons ability to use the restroom.

The pace at which each individual is expected to learn at is unfair. No brain is the same yet we are all being taught the exact same way and expected to understand everything we are taught. But if you don’t understand what you are learning then you are considered “slow” and you are put into another class that is more at your pace. This is humiliating and causes low self confidence. These students aren’t failures. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, everyone learns in a different way. Some people learn from listening, others from watching, some from hands on and countless other ways. If we change teaching from just busy work and copying paragraphs down from the board then we can incorporate other ways of learning that help every student to efficiently learn what they are supposed to be learning. When you understand something, when you truly understand something, it makes it more interesting, and it takes away the reason to cheat. Students would actually learn instead of just memorize.

I asked some students about their opinions on the education system,

“We need to have more freedom, and more classes that will help you in the future, everyone is set to a standard and expected to live up to it, but everyone is different and so that standard isn’t fair.

-Robin Nelson

“Grades are worth too much. Students are more afraid of keeping their grades up instead of learning.”

-Jake Sampson

“There’s not enough preparing us for the real world. We know how to do equations, but very few people actually know how to balance a check, and we need to learn that.”

-Trevor Schwab

“There’s no teaching of critical thinking. Everything is meant to be memorized.”

-Jake Sims

“We don’t explain enough, we just say this is how it is and you have to memorize it.”

-Wyatt Ko

If we have customized cars, phones, and countless other things, we can customize education to which every student is learning to the best of their abilities in the best way that they can.