Education. Just by mentioning this word, children shudder from intense fear of emptiness and boredom and what might be the next dreadful homework assignment that will forever destroy their hopes of future dream jobs and interesting hobbies. Ok this might sound a bit exaggerated but this statement doesn’t really shy away from reality. Certainly, it doesn’t stimulate any positive memories when adults are asked about their experience in school. They will remember all the fun silly games they played in class to kill the seemingly unending time of each lesson that slowly whipped away all their creativity and imagination and hunger for knowledge they once possessed. The world is full of interesting things to explore and yet young adults and teenagers today actively refuse to discover them. They don’t even bother picking up some books to read or watch documentaries on how things work or why people do what they do. They remain blissfully ignorant.
Philosophers in the past continually examined human nature until their very last breath was squeezed out of their lungs. They were not the only curious people in the world. Famous explorers such as Darwin or Christopher Columbus seem to possess natural curiosity about the world along with modern comedians who observe and comment on anything that hides from people’s perceptions. To say that the 21st century man is incurious is a serious understatement. The average “Joe” does not want to know how his brain works (not that there is any activity in the brain at this point) but he would be very much interested on how Susan had a horrific experience in the bathroom while trying to clean up her dog’s mess.
Male students are more astounded by Mary’s leopard thong in the front row than a 1000 year old math formula that helped scientist solve important problems. And Mary is more fascinated by her friend’s text messages on her smart phone rather than the lesson. This shows us the serious deficiencies in the education system and yet they remain ignored by society. Most people in society are aware that what they are taught bears no relationship with the real world. They know that homework, great test results or punishments do not cultivate personality nor help children to function on a high level in society when they grow up. Children need to grow discipline and shrink the notion that a college degree or high test result makes them important and conveys that they are hard working.
It’s often the “high achievers” who turn to laziness later on in their lives because as soon as they realize that achieving something truly great requires much more complex rules and not merely memorizing facts or mathematical formulas by heart the day before the test. In fact, everyday is a test. It’s a test on how well we can sleep, socialize and improve ourselves. Our parents and teachers try to convince us otherwise with the usual “Your responsibilities as a teenager is to sit down and do your homework, study for tests in order to be accepted in prestigious Universities” argument. So most students by the end of their high school graduation year will spark up their reports with all their life achievements and school grades. They try to make it look as if they are somehow special because of “X” task and “Y” participation in events. All graduates whether university/college or high school students are all great …. on paper. That is indeed a very poor and shallow way of judging someone’s potential for greatness.
The education system is not what most people think it is. It does not care about students and there is some evidence to support that.
First of all, teachers go by the notion that students who score below a certain grade in test are unworthy of happiness or a good life in the future. Sometimes children quit school for that reason. They say “this kid was a weak student who couldn’t cope with the system”. That’s insane and it defeats the purpose of education. Children are supposed to learn stuff so they can function in the world properly. By excluding young minds from the opportunity of learning there is no surprise that some of them end up in jail. Nobody grasps knowledge using the same processes. Everybody knows that but they choose to ignore it because it is more convenient for the system. There are simply too many people who learn in different ways and have interest in different things and most importantly different levels of potential. Thus not bothering to bring out the best of everyone requires minimal effort.