The school system is flawed

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. ” – Albert Einstein

Teaching methods
Just because one method of teaching works for one student,  doesn’t mean it will work for the other 25 odd students. For example, me personally, I learn visually. This means I like to do things to learn, rather than copy down notes off a PowerPoint, or off the board. I just can’t remember information this way.
I would much rather be shown how to do something, or how it works. This will help me remember. Unfortunately for me, the education system doesn’t cater for students whose learning style is anything other than copying down notes, so I just have to go along with it.

The pressure of tests , exams and grades is constant, along with homework almost every night. Schools don’t seem to understand that students have lives outside of school, and would much rather be out doing things, rather than trying to learn knowledge that will never benefit us in the real world outside of school. And if they do know, they obviously don’t care.

Albert Einstein shared a lot of my views on education, and how it fails to engage student’s creative minds. The quote I used at the start of this post is quite relevant, even to this day. Einstein didn’t do well in school, he even failed math (which is what he is known for). He truly started to learn once he forgot everything he was learning in school.Taking notes off a board and listening to monotonous speech day after day doesn’t engage student’s minds. It is for this reason that most students eventually lose interest in school, Or even drop out.

If high school teachers could only find a way to make their teaching methods more engaging and interesting ,( perhaps with games or activities like we used to do in primary school, or even rewards for constant good behaviour),people would look forward to coming to class, instead of dreading it. But this isn’t the teacher’s fault. They have a strict curriculum they have to stick to, which mostly includes copying notes. My favourite classes are the ones which we do activities, or even get rewards. I’m not expecting a treat every time we get the right answer like you would while training a puppy, I just want something different to the same boring crap I have had drummed into me for the past 10 years.

Mental health
Two out of the top three issues young people are most concerned about, according to a beyond blue survey in 2015, are related to or about  school.  In this they state that “Young people are most concerned about coping with stress, school or study…” Stress can eventually lead to having anxiety, which  one in six young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are currently experiencing.  Not all anxiety is school based though, the spectrum reaches much further than that.

But school related stress is can also be a stepping stone for a full blown anxiety disorder. I’m not saying all aspects of school are to blame, because there are chaplains and nurses you can talk to about your mental health issues, but they can’t do much more than reassure you that it will eventually get better, or send you onto someone else that can help. I know for a fact that people in my year are seriously struggling with school. And this, without proper help,  is definitely making a permanent impact on their mental health.

Life choices
Most students in year 10 or 11, or even some in year 12 don’t have a clue what they want to do for the rest of their lives, despite the fact that they are told that they have to make these decisions very soon, or even now.  These students should be told that not knowing what they want to do for the rest of their lives is  fine, and should be encouraged to try out different job options until they eventually find one they love, or are passionate about. But  instead of this, they are constantly pressured and asked what they want to do with their lives by their teachers, family members and even people that  they have just met.

I think that it’s stupid that at the age of 16 or 17 , when students still have to ask for permission to go to the toilet, that they are expected to know what they want to do as a job for the rest of their lives. For me personally, I have almost no clue what I want to do for a job.Sure I have interests and things that I like to do, but am I going to like these things for the rest of my life? I am also told to ask myself if these will help me get a well paying job. Schools need to understand that not everyone knows what they want to do with their lives, even after high school. Discovering what you love to do and  makes you happy is more important than that.
If education could only nurture student’s creative minds, and show them a way to find a job they love, that isn’t based solely on a score they got on a few tests, school would be a much happier  environment.

The truth is, how well you do in school doesn’t really affect how you live in life. I know many people would disagree with me on this, and getting good grades can certainly help you get certain jobs, but your happiness is more important than what grade you get in a class. In my opinion, my wellbeing comes first in my priorities  and then everything else comes after that. If the education system could only adapt to this mindset, and put a lot less pressure on their students, The world of education  would be a better place.

By E.S.

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