The Flaws In Our School System

More stories from Mikaela Laws


The school system is great in many ways. It teaches people of all ages new information, life skills, and several other beneficial topics and values. Though there are many benefits that come with the school system, there are several flaws too. From the time you’re in preschool, some of the first lessons they teach you are how to regurgitate information. Repeat after me, A, B, C… repeat after me, 2+2+4! Though this way of teaching may work when just learning the basic necessities, it doesn’t quite have the same effect as we start to grow and develop. Throughout our younger years, we’ve been taught to listen, remember, and repeat. As we grow older however, the downfalls of this technique can start to outweigh the benefits.

The ability to think creatively is becoming more and more important. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, creative thinking is beginning to be just as, if not more, important than logical thinking. The school system has yet to get caught up on this idea, and probably wont for at least 50 years if were being honest. There’s a common stereotype about what’s considered “smart”. For example, if you’re able to excel in math for instance, but you aren’t a very good artist, everyone’s instant reaction is “Oh that’s ok! Not everyone is good at art”. If you reverse it however, it usually tends to have the opposite reaction. Excelling at art, but struggling in math will almost instantly label you as “Below average” and “stupid.” Stereotypically, artists are viewed as more of the flighty, unreliable type, while the more logical minded people are typically viewed as consistent, and dependable. This idea all leads back to what we’ve been taught in school. For years it’s always been the idea to excel in “core classes” which, although important, should not overshadow classes that develop and encourage creative thinkers. Fortunately for those creative thinkers, companies like Google and the uprising technological industry are looking for creative minds and out of the box innovators.  Thus the ability to think creatively and logically is equally important. One should have an equal amount of these skillsets, as it is important to be well rounded for future jobs.

Another thing that schools seem to struggle with is the idea that standardized teaching is the best and only way to teach. What I mean by standardization, is the routine where the teacher lectures, the students silently listen and take notes, walk to the next class, and do the exact same thing over and over again. Though this routine may be beneficial to some, the lack of diversified ways of teaching isn’t necessarily benefiting everyone. There are several good methods of teaching, and encouraging more discussion during the class period can be one of them. Discussions can be a key thing that will ensure students learn the best way possible. It allows them to bounce ideas off one another, discuss different topics, and become engaged in the conversation. Students enjoy participating in class, but only if its done the right way. Most student’s don’t like answering questions from the teacher that are mostly rhetorical, it puts them in the spotlight.  However, if you were to ask the same question, but then open it up to the class for discussion, the students would become much more engaged. An essential part of this method, believe it or not, is to actually stay out of it for the most part, and let the students learn from each other for a while, only interrupting to ask sub questions based on their answers that will make the student think, and ensure further discussion about the topic.

Along with discussions, asking a question that has 2 sides, and then asking the students to debate about it is not only entertaining for the students, it makes them think from more than one point of view. It brings more ideas to them, and usually builds the debate based on the answers. It makes them think in ways they’ve never had to before.  Change is important, without it we would still be caveman with a club as a weapon, and fire as the only light. The small changes are the things that will grow and develop not only the school system, but anything in general. In order to make these changes possible, adjustments would have to be made on a national level. There are many things that would need to be tweaked, outside of teachers control. Changes such as higher compensation for their efforts, and higher pay would benefit not only the teachers, but the students as well. It would let those teachers have a little bit more freedom and motivation to teach the way they feel would most benefit the students that will someday become the future workforce, leaders, and educators. It all comes down to how, and what we’ve been taught during the most essential times of our lives.