It’s said that school is a microcosm of society. A society that elevates stupidity will have a school system that creates stupid kids.
School should prepare adults for entry into adult society. And that’s precisely what it does. The school system as we know it in the West prepares children for survival in the society we’ve created.
1. The system creates stupid kids by teaching them to obey rules arbitrarily
Much of school is learning to be able to sit in your seat and silently work on something that doesn’t interest you while having to suppress natural desires to communicate and be creative. What’s more, children are taught to suppress their basic needs, such as that to go to the lavatory. Children are punished for deviating from the prescribed course of action, even if the deviation consists in their drawing, writing, or reading something that truly interests them or reveals their true talents.
2. The system creates stupid kids by stifling creativity
Children have naturally active imaginations and a desire to manifest their imagination in reality in some way through play, dance, art, or drama. School, with its insistence on sticking to the curriculum, and not straying from government-prescribed guidelines on what children should be learning, prevents children from expressing their creativity at every juncture. Instead, it channels their energy into activities that they perform largely against their will, and which for this reason provide them with very few benefits.
3. The system creates stupid kids by discouraging critical thinking
Children aren’t taught at school to reason and come to their own conclusions, they’re taught formulaic responses, which prevent them from using their reason and which force them to come to conclusions already decided for them by the curriculum. Children are penalized for using critical thinking and coming up with conclusions that deviate from those prescribed by the system.
4. The system creates stupid kids by teaching them to parrot information
The aim of school has become to pass exams by memorizing information that must be given in such a way that there is no way to pass them without simply parroting information given in class. In addition to teaching children to memorize information rather than truly thinking for themselves, the information is crammed in for specific dates meaning that the vast majority of it is inevitably lost after the exam is over. It’s therefore rendered completely useless to them afterwards, and the only skill that has been learned is that of memorizing vast amounts of information in a short time.
5. The system creates stupid kids by forcing them to act unethically
When children are at school they are forced to do things that feel unnatural for them and which will teach them to be studiously cunning and deceitful in order to avoid them. Children will, therefore, spend more time figuring out clever ways to evade tasks that they don’t want to engage with than actually learning things. Thus, school fosters dishonest behavior in children, which in turn causes them to become dishonest adults.
6. The system creates stupid kids by teaching them that money is the only marker of success
School is the first institution we come into contact with that teaches us to hold certain types of knowledge higher than others. Knowledge that is considered impractical, or, in other words, that is not associated with making money, is suppressed by national curricula and is substituted by courses on numeracy and even business studies and marketing. Children are discouraged from looking at any sources of knowledge that are considered useless in terms of their potential for money making.
7. The system creates stupid kids by putting them in competition with one another
Instead of teaching kids to work together, to pool their intellectual resources and find ways of finding solutions to problems and succeeding as a group, school pits one child against the other in open competition. Children are also encouraged to tell on their fellow students when they break the rules, showing their loyalty to the school rather than to their fellow students. This foreshadows the future working environment, where adults are also encouraged to compete against each other and supervise each other on behalf of the company, to which they are encouraged to pledge their allegiance over and above their fellow workers.
It’s important to remember that teachers and school staff are not responsible for the downgrading of education that we see in modern society. Schools respond to state requirements, by trying to equip children with the skills they need to survive in the particular society that we live in. The school system is nothing more than a reflection of the kind of society we live in, which elevates commerce above all other activities.
Do you agree with the views expressed in this article? Why or why not?
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