There is always a raging debate over the state of education today. The debate is mostly centered around the need for more money to be given to school districts. However, I don’t know how much money it actually takes to have someone attain knowledge. I understand the need for text books, primarily in the younger grades. You would need some type of standardized platform to teach the basics and make sure they were being retained. Once the basics are taught, we should automatically move onto putting the basics to use and away from standardized testing. I remember a long time ago, my son wasn’t doing well in a reading class that was working on Shakespeare. When the teacher would ask what does this mean and he would answer, she would automatically say that is not what it means. Where I take issue is that art is predicated upon how it affects each person. Some people may take something from it some people may not. I even mentioned to the teacher that she doesn’t know what Shakespeare meant because she didn’t ask him, therefore there can technically be no wrong answer.
Education today has turned into a constant series of memorizing material and taking a test. I am the only one that sees and understands that is not how you learn. That is how you pass a test based on what someone wanted you to know. We don’t need education; we need knowledge. I am not a huge fan of scripture, but it was stated 2000 years ago in the passage if we give a man a fish we feed him for a day, if we teach a man to fish we feed him for a lifetime. The idea of memorizing to pass a test is the literal interpretation of giving a man a fish. Whereas genuine teaching leads to ones desire for the acquisition of knowledge and by default feeding for a lifetime.
I am a firm believer in teaching to attain knowledge not dictating for the purpose of passing a test. Standardized testing in my opinion is a waste of time and resources. How many of the world’s greatest minds were literally failures in school because they didn’t fit the mold that was created by some bureaucrat sitting behind a desk? Don’t get me wrong, there is a genuine purpose to memorize the basics so there is a foundation to build and learn on. Just like the passage I mentioned, you have to learn what the best baits are for the fish you are trying to catch, how to properly secure the bait on the hook, how to cast a line and how to troll the line to attract a fish. However, once those basic foundations are learned it’s up to the person to put what they have learned into action and figure out their own way.
Knowledge has been the nexus of man’s survival on this rock floating through space. Throughout history it has been man’s curiosity and desire for knowledge that has led us to be successful and to improve the human condition. Education and testing for the sake of memorization has played little to no role in our development outside of teaching the basics of math, reading, writing and science, after that we did it all ourselves to quench our thirst for knowledge.
How to Improve Education today
Remove standardize testing
While I believe in the building phases of education and using a test is a valuable tool, the testing can be accomplished through the process of teaching. There is no need to retest.
School districts should put a greater emphasis on hands on learning through the use of STEM programs as opposed to memorization.
Not every child learns at the same pace and not every child has the exact same aptitude for a subject.
We should put a higher standard on gaining knowledge through curiosity and imagination to build a society geared towards innovation.
The Deviant View on Knowledge and Education
We should be creating an environment where learning turns to knowledge and if we are to use testing to gauge what someone has learned, the testing should be geared towards application versus memorization. We can then figure out how well we are presenting material. If kids can come up with creative ways to apply what they know, we can begin the process of getting away from right and wrong answers and moving into a society that values creativity, uniqueness and application and not memorize and forget until the next test.
By King Deviant
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