Education is great, teaching all the subjects that our society is prepare to teach kids (if you are born at a right time, to the right family with a right financial situation in the right country…) But there are many problems within teaching itself. I would like to remind everyone reading that these issues I mention are purely my own experience and something I have noticed with friends or for example from YouTube videos.
One amazing YouTube video that is going to introduce you the issues with todays schools, is this talk/rap by Prince EA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTTojTija8 (The video state that Finland’s educational system is so ahead, and that may be the case, but it has been going down quite a lot and even when it has been at its best it has had some issues. This coming from a Finnish student.)
So, what do I think that are the issues with schools; standardized tests, having school class that looks the same as 150 years before, teachers not paid enough? What else?
We aren’t taught how to write good notes when we are young. Now of course everyone has their own way of making notes the best of the best for them. But while a lot of teachers assume we write notes for their classes no one teaches how to take them. This is not only something I find extremely frustrating. Sometimes teachers do lectures so very fast, but never has bothered to explain how to make concise, smart notes that make sense after lecture as well.
And people not knowing how to write good notes is very easy to notice on all the study tumblers, note taking videos on YouTube and so on. Students want answers, and who is better to push them into the right direction than schools and teachers who should know the most effective ways, right?
Science is against the way schools are now… but still nothing changes? School starts early, when science has proved that not everyone’s brain is functioning up to par in the mornings. Many very influential writers have a totally different schedule, they write when they are the most effective. Yet students are forced to wake up early and study very late.
Some lectures can last up to 3 hours if not more, sometimes pushing through with no breaks, so we get home earlier, but again studies indicate that people can’t concentrate more than 45 minutes at a time and that is on a good day.
Speaking of being restless. If we go back to when I was in preschool or during my first years of “real” school, things weren’t that much better. We were assumed to sit through a class and concentrate, listen to the teacher and answer questions and not really get any reward for it per say.
Now let’s thing about this realistically. Tell someone who can sit calmly and concentrate when they are under 10? When older than 10 years old’s have issues too. And WHY would we even make students study like this? I mean again studies prove that the brain goes into a standby mode when we are sitting for a long time and that is when the mind starts to wander, or day dream. I am not saying that students shouldn’t learn how to concentrate for more than 5 minutes at a time. But the kid’s age should be considered and making studying active rather than passive, would probably help students learn more anyway.
So, not only do we take away the excitement from learning by making too many rules, we also make those students learn less, because physical movement literally helps walk the information into the brain.
Making us compete for a grade, instead making us learn information. An A* or 5/5 if you study where I do, doesn’t mean anything, if after the exam you remember nothing. What if that same test would be help couple of weeks later again, would we have anyone getting A’s then? Studying isn’t about the grade. It is about processing the information, making it part of us for the long term and then, in a couple of weeks when we are taught something new, we get the moment of the light bulb going BLING – “This is relating to that thing A we learned 2 weeks ago.” This is what learning is about. Not if you know how to answer to A, B, C questions correctly after you learned your textbook by heart.
And one might argue that it is on the students to learn for themselves, and partly that is the case, but I would argue that the way we are taught, and the way society makes letters and numbers and GPA’s such a big deal, we are making studying off putting. It makes students judge themselves by a number, or a grade instead of how much they worked and how many BLING moments they had. And I can say that those BLING moments are satisfying af.
Look education is a right that every child is supposed to have, but not at the price of their identity. The right doesn’t include them feeling like shit because they aren’t as good as the math geek (total respect to that math geek) in their class and because the way they understand sciences isn’t the conventional way. All great breakthroughs in science, biology and even art were made by people who had the audacity to look outside the box. Einstein is told to have been quite bad at school, but he is one of the most known scientists in the world.
Changing the way schools are isn’t easy. But maybe we should start actually asking what do the students need. Even a simple question like, what did I miss when I was a student, is a great start. It would improve our students mental health a lot too. Making them see that their opinions mater.
In my humble opinion schools need to teach students to think for themselves. Not teach them to read everything by heart from the book. But make them analyze different information and come to a conclusion. Like playing Sherlock Holmes. That is only the start thought.
What do you guys think? What should we do to improve school, or do you think that I am totally wrong and schools are doing an amazing job with teaching today’s generation?
Thanks for reading,