Social Question

Christian95's avatar

What's your opinion about school?

Asked by Christian95 (3255 points ) March 2nd, 2010

My opinion is that today’s school is very far from what’s supposed to be and it fails very badly in shaping real characters which will contribute to the world and it learns us almost nothing.
What do you think?How do you think a school should look?

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51 Answers

utzon's avatar

School in general or do you mean school in a specific country and at a specific level (age)?

JLeslie's avatar

@Christian95 Your profile says you live in Romania, is that correct?

ShiningToast's avatar

Educations are cool. And valuable.

phoebusg's avatar

I agree and will add. It is a system designed for producing conforming members, most of which lose many of their creative abilities. But at later stages, we ask them to be creative – and ask why they are not. It comes from a feudal system, and it is more concerned with continuing the system – than making competent individuals.

It goes against natural motivation and learning – instead of working with it. It is unbelievable that we currently have and support such a system.

You should check out http://www.montessori.edu/index.html
It is a system that is much closer to functional. Could still use improvement, but it’s more competent.

DominicX's avatar

Well I’m at Stanford University and doing well, so it must have done something right…

I find most people who criticize school don’t really offer any suggestions as to how it can be improved. What exactly is the problem and what exactly can be done to fix it?

Now, I have identified problems that I have encountered with the education system. I wrote a very long reply about it and I don’t exactly intend to repeat it, but some of the things that I mentioned were: less busywork, more hands-on problems and experiments, smaller classes, more individual attention to students, teachers that can actually teach (I had a teacher who really couldn’t and she should not have been there), exposing kids to subjects like economics and life-skills much earlier (and it should be required), more attention to logic and argumentative skills (I was exposed to that, but only in junior year and not too much of it), etc. those were some of the things I mentioned, but in more detail.

Now people will say things like “if you’re going to be a scientist, you should only have to take science classes.” I don’t know about you, but most teenagers aren’t exactly sure what they want to be when they grow up. I’m 18 and in college and still not sure. I think the fact that we expose kids to many different subjects is still the proper thing to do because what happens if you’ve been taking nothing but science and then you all of a sudden realize that you are fascinated by linguistics, a topic you maybe never knew much about before? Kids are naturally indecisive and prone to changing their minds and I think the different subjects is an adequate system. However, if a person is not doing well in a subject and knows they are not interested in it, I think they shouldn’t have to take it. My poor boyfriend was bad at math and really struggled, but he had to take it despite the fact that he really was not interested in it and knew that he was never going to pursue it past high school. And he’s incredibly artistic, but never really found an outlet for that at school. Definitely more creative classes. Creative writing was something that only “dumb kids” took at my school and it shouldn’t have been that way. Creative writing should’ve been encouraged!

Most people leave school and go on to college, correct? Shouldn’t school be preparing us for college, then? I think it has considering over 90% of my graduating class goes onto some kind of college the next year. However, not all kids are college material and those who don’t want to go to college should not be made to feel that they are making the wrong choice. Schools should be more supportive of choices like that (I know at my school, college was really stressed despite the fact that it wasn’t even a college prep school).

davidbetterman's avatar

They are helpful, and you will learn more than had you not attended.
They are nonetheless holding centers to keep too many slaves from flooding the job market all at once.

How can you fix this? End the slave system.
What slave system? It is known as Capitalism.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Ever since schools adopted the prison model, they ceased to function very well in an educational capacity.

Nullo's avatar

Maybe have the teachers teach more, and expect more out of the students. I found the Stateside portion of my high school curriculum ridiculously easy.
I do not buy the claim that funding is the root of our scholastic woes; this country was brought to some pretty impressive heights by graduates of one-room schoolhouses.

@JeanPaulSartre Could you elaborate on that prison model?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I totally agree with you, completely and unarguably!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I love school – always have, always will – I know there are flaws but a smart person can see through ‘em and take what they need from their educational path.

phoebusg's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir so anyone that is not creative within a school environment is non-smart? :)

“I know there are flaws but a smart person can see through ‘em and take what they need from their educational path” – sets a conditional. You’re smart only if – you can see through them and be successful regardless of the system’s failure.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Better than no school.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@phoebusg please show me where I even implied such a thing.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I feel that schools are not doing what they should be doing, budget cuts do play a big part in how well a child learns without the proper school supplys how are they suppose to learn properly?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Nullo Basically it’s that instead of preparing students for the economy we guard them from any influence on the society – we do locker searches, have metal detectors at the front doors… effectively durring the day the students are locked down. We’ve gotten so paranoid about guns or drugs or who knows what that we’ve forgotten to educate. It’s built on the factory model which was designed to, with minimal teaching staff, prepare students to have a boring job in a factory. The system has been broken in some fashion for decades.

PacificToast's avatar

The American system is not very efficient as they’re stuck on the idea that every child can make straight A’s and get a white collar job and be happy. But some kids aren’t scholars, and the system just can’t get over that. They must learn to practice what they preach about each person being different and that we just have to accept it.

Zaxwar91's avatar

I believe that school is successful based upon the teachers who do the teaching. School in itself isnt alot of work, but depending on the teachers you have yo can end up hating school very very fast. So, in my opinion, school can quickly burn you out for the love of learning that its supposed to provide.

Ria777's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre: you skip all over the place with this post when you say “prison system”.

1) the modern day institution of schools.

2) metal detectors and searches. this did not exist when they set up 1).

3): ”[t]he system has been broken [...] for decades”. does this mean 2) or did you mean a separate thing?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Ria777 Sorry, that was a bit confusing… I’d say 1 led to 2 as 2 enforces 1. 3 I was referring to the factory model and then the prison model built on top of that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ria777 The ‘school as prison’ concept comes from Foucault (or at the very least from him and then some others) who believed that there are technologies of power and the the education system (like the healthcare, politics, etc.) is set up in a way that there is a very clear differential of power between those higher up and those low below.

Ria777's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: yep, I know. or rather, I know that Foucault wrote about school in those terms. not sure whether or not he first applied the prison model to schools.

the sociologist Erving Goffman (or someone) came up with the phrase “total institution” which they apply to both schools and prisons. (though some have more restrictions than other. I would call it more a sliding thing.)

Ria777's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre: anyway… I see 2 as a reaction to a couple of events. one, school shootings. two, the world has changed. crack came in in the ‘80’s and guns have had easy access to guns for a couple of decades, too.

DominicX's avatar

@Ria777

It’s true. People always complain about searches and everything, but the fact of the matter is that there are more school shootings now than there were in previous times. I always site the example of a kid at my school who had a gun in his backpack and was caught because of a search.

I just want to know what people propose as an alternative to such things.

SeventhSense's avatar

If we ever adapted the ideals of educators like Jean Piaget there may be some true education but that necessitates an entire societal change. It presupposes a respectful position imagining that children or anyone for that matter are not simply receptacles or depositories for information but are co-educated with the teacher in a beneficial symbiotic relationship rather than a hierarchical one.

ChaosCross's avatar

Ether one of the best things possible or an almost waste of time depending on what you are going to do for the rest of your life.

Education is important only where it can be used.

BoBo1946's avatar

removed by BoBo…will answer this one later @Christian….got to run!

Ria777's avatar

@SeventhSense: I know a few people who went to schools along those lines. they liked them fine.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense my kid goes to a Montessori school – do you know of their philosophy? what do you think of it?

liminal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I really like the Montessori school, we would seriously consider it if we had the money. Particularly, we like how they support self-directed learning. We have incorporated much of her thinking into our homeschooling. If I lived in Brookly I would be very interested in this school also: http://brooklynfreeschool.org/about/index.html are you familiar with it or the sudbury schools: http://www.sudval.org/?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
I think she was brilliant, I believe there’s a lot of value in a Montessori system and most importantly its self directed learning. I think similar types of approach should be extended to 12–15 year old children as well when they are almost always prone to restlessness and they are naturally more active than passive. Once kids pass through puberty though, I believe it is most beneficial for them to be able to sit and focus individually since this is generally how the adult world especially academia operates. But for the younger kids I think they should be free, inquisitive and constantly encouraged to engage through direct interaction.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense I agree – the kids will be in Montessori until they’re 6 – a good foundation.

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense I so agree. As long as they are still being exposed to many different things, I think it is wonderful when children have the ability to excell in what they are interested in. The typical school structure can stunt learning sometimes.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@Ria777 I went to a school that used metal detectors and such after a kid was shot in the hall my Freshman year. Stuff was still snuck in despite random searches with dogs… we had a bomb threat one year… it didn’t help at all and probably just got those that wanted to get things in better at sneaking around the system

liminal's avatar

As has already been mentioned, some schools have reduced education to an industrial process, treating students as if they are simply receptacles for data. There are many alternative schools, both private and public, that try to move beyond such a limited approach. Yet, it is rare to find an institution that treats education as an organic process that stirs and nurtures a child’s innate wisdom.

There are many educators who yearn to be involved in a dynamic learning relationship with their students. Unfortunately, teachers are often burdened and limited by regulations and requirements that are more interested in how many facts Sally can spit out than in her ability to reason and engage productively with knowledge and theory in the way most reflective of her as an individual.

Children are not color-coded bins for different types of data; each child is capable of a uniquely organic synthesis of what humans have already discovered in a journey toward new discoveries and horizons. Some educators get this, sadly, many do not.

babaji's avatar

School?
Tap it at every level.
Absorb as much knowledge as you can.
Use it to your complete advantage.

Ltryptophan's avatar

School is place for social activities in this country.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Ltryptophan
Nothing wrong with that. Learning should be social..like Fluther.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Formal learning is not one of the social activities.

Ltryptophan's avatar

You following me around @SeventhSense?

Christian95's avatar

I don’t mean just Romanian school I’m mean school in general

BoBo1946's avatar

@Christian95 schools in general in the USA, are declining. Overall scores on ACT etc prove this statement.

Have always said, the first three grades are the foundation of a child’s future. If they don’t get a good start, they are lost. The first three grades should have smaller classes compared to the other grades. Also, the best teachers should be in those first three grades.

LostInParadise's avatar

People learn best by doing, not by being lectured to. There are some private schools that take this approach to one degree or another. Children should be given open ended projects to explore things on their own. They should learn to work in groups as well as independently. They should be told that knowledge is meant to be shared and be encouraged to tell about things they have learned or figured out. The whole process can be made more enjoyable.

The way kids are treated in school is just awful. It is no wonder that kids are getting stressed out more and more. The whole idea of competing for grades is antithetical to learning. I really do not see much need for it before high school. Learning should be seen as a cooperative process.

JLeslie's avatar

@BoBo1946 I disagree a little. First three grades I am ok with, but this head start thing is ridiculous. All of that money should go to high school, vocation, and college. It does not matter if a child learns to read or starts school at 4 or 6. I was 4 when I started kindergarten, there were kids who were 6, by 10th hgrade no one knows the difference. My dad learned to read in 3rd grade, not good I agree, but at the early stage he was abl to catch, he was in an excellerated program in high school (because he was lucky enough to live in a city that had such options) graduated at 16 and went to free college in the city. If it had not been free, who knows how long it would have taken him if ever to go to school, and wound up with a PhD from an Ivy League school on scholarship. Where you wind up is much more important than where you start. I don’t think many 4th graders are dropping out of school, but we sure have some teens dropping out, and graduating without direction, applicable skills, or knowledge of the real world.

BoBo1946's avatar

@JLeslie just think with today’s environment (both parents working etc), the first three grades are very important. If the child is given special attention during those crucial grades, they have a chance to be successful. By high school etc, it is too late.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, I think it is important, but what is most important is probably the child’s self esteem, feelings of safety in the world, general confidence about their abilities, more than what he specifically learned those three years. Which goes back to what you are saying. There are all sorts of studies showing that homework in the very first years have no baring on performance in later school years or work ethic, yet schools and parents think they have to give homework every day from the age of 5. And, head start studies have shown that children in the program are significantly ahead of the peers not in the program the first few years, but by grade three it all starts to even out.

And that parents both work is another reason I am very against homework every night with very young children. If a child cannot do their homework on their own, and a kid who can barely read probably can’t, then obligating the parents to help can be exhausting for the family and counterproductive. Worse, if the parents are immigrants and their command of the written English language is difficult. But, I am off on a tangent, I know you did not bring all of this up, it’s just where my mind goes.

BoBo1946's avatar

it is about salvation of the child….lots of children do not get that home! I’m talking about the marginal children…sure, the children with good parents etc, they will get what they need. Now days, we got more children on the other end of that spectrum!

SeventhSense's avatar

@Ltryptophan
Formal learning is not one of the social activities.
I think the vast majority of educational specialists over the last 100 years would wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment as well as the format of our current educational systems. Education is a social activity and learned best in group constructs or else children would simply be given books and sent home.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@SeventhSense I wasn’t saying that education should not be a social activity, but that currently it does not seem to be one of the social activities that schools are concentrating on.

emeraldisles's avatar

I hate school in general but used to like it. I thik people have a better experience when the classes aren’t over crowded and when the teachers can actually teach and will help you instead of not caring about whether you fail or not.

Assassin_15's avatar

I have some friends who think school is very corrupt. I don’t agree at all. They all say their classes are missing excitement and don’t see the point in teaching us about events that already happened. I believe school is crucial in development no matter what

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