I have a friend, who the other day was recounting a story of a 20 year old high school senior that as a requirement of graduation had to pass a final “exit” exam. My friend had mentioned this particular person because this student had been a senior going on 3 years was physically sick to the point of vomiting on themselves and passing out due to the anxiety of trying to pass the graduation exam. Apparently, if you don’t pass the exam you don’t graduate. Honestly, I don’t know much about what goes on anymore, outside of what I read. However, what I do know is if a child shows up 3 years in a row to graduate and can’t pass some stupid test to graduate all the while becoming so distraught they physically can’t even walk, we are doing something wrong and need an education reform. The issue isn’t we have a education system so broken the student cannot pass the exam, the issue is we have a test in the first place.
Somehow, this idea of memorize and test has become the foundation of the current education system. I’m not even sure why we have teachers anymore. A teacher is someone who teaches, not a babysitter stands over your shoulder and demands memorization. When did the powers that be decide that being able to memorize is how you learn? Nothing could be farther from the truth. Learning is based on experience and knowledge. It’s amazing what children are forced to memorize today with no way of applying it to real world situations.
I believe most, if not all, of societies contemporary issues can be tied directly back to how we are re-educating young minds today. Children have a natural desire to attain knowledge; they want to know the why’s. Anyone who has raised a child is well aware of the “why” stage. It’s usually right after they start talking and become self aware of the environment around them. Curiosity takes hold and they want to understand this amazing world we live in. This happens probably around 4 or 5 years of age, just in time to send them to a place that essentially beats the curiosity of life out of them and wants them to memorize a bunch of crap that some idiot wants to test them on to see if they retained a bunch of useless information they will forget the next day only to have more useless information to try and remember for the next test. Does anyone but me see a serious problem with this system?
Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly foundations that children need to learn and memorize. The basic foundations of reading, writing, math, science and history have to be taught before moving on to using the basics and the application of the basics as it relates to knowledge and learning. Those basics can be tested in an environment that does not create anxiety and depression. Merely using a test as a gauge of who may need a little more assistance and who doesn’t. I am not a big believer in testing in general because I honestly don’t think it proves anything except some people can take them and some can’t. This leads me to the education reform.
The Deviant View on Education Reform
Most issues in life can be directly attributed to not learning from a mistake or even a positive experience. Part of education is taking what you have learned and applying it the next time. If all we do is force memorization without the application of learning, we as a society are doomed to consistently make the same errors and never move forward.
When do we realize we live in the information age and require education reform? Memorization in education is outdated to the point of being extinct and yet we still continue to beat the proverbial dead horse. Education reform today should be centered on how to find information, how to solve a problem and where to look and apply what it is you are trying to accomplish. I completely understand 100 years ago there weren’t enough books to go around so memorization was vital to the education process. I hate to be the one to pop that nonsense bubble, but today isn’t the same way. Life has changes and so has the access to information and someone’s ability to find it easily.
Education is not a race to see how fast you can get through a lesson to get onto the next or an exercise in seeing how much nonsense you can cram into someone’s brain only to replace it with more nonsense. Learning is a lifelong process that cannot be rushed through to focus on the next test. If we are to perform testing we should test the ability to apply what was learned not the persons ability to memorize facts.
By King Deviant
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