Move towards a more diverse way of teaching our youth

Res SteckerEducation is the single most important thing in our nation, but it is treated like it is an issue that can be dealt with at any time, or is of little current significance.

This is just simply not the case; our quality of education, and quite frankly our populace’s intelligence, has been slipping mightily in recent years to several other nations around the globe. This is a problem which I have addressed in an earlier article, but today I want to flesh out what is going on in our educational system and how to fix it.

The problem is that not all people are created equal. This is not to say they should be treated differently under the eyes of the law or discriminated against or anything of the kind. It is saying that different people have different talents and the diversity of thinking and doing should be embraced by a nation as multicultural as ours.

Unfortunately, we tend to stifle the creativity of our children before they are even allowed the opportunity to produce something unique and beautiful; our schools emphasize conformity, not creativity.

Think about it. How many times have your teachers throughout your life told you not to doodle on your papers, or not to listen to music in class? Teachers tell kids all the time to sit up, focus and not day dream, even though the topic is likely irrelevant to what they are doing in daily life.

I am not saying students should not pay attention, but merely that people learn in different ways and attentiveness cannot always be measured by eye contact.

I do not really blame teachers; most are victims of a system that simply does not work well in trying to foster an innovative youth. Teachers do not make the rules, and their livelihood hinges on them following strict set of teaching guidelines that leads to little actual intellectual growth.

No one really got anywhere in science, or any field for that matter, by following all the known rules and regulations. The people we remember in history are people that typically did something different, new or strange. To quote Douglas MacArthur, “You are remembered for the rules you break, not the ones you follow.”

I remember going through twelve years of mostly easy public school curriculums and gaining a ton of information that has little to no use in my daily life — even my life as a student. I was taught a massive amount of information that is essentially useless to me today. Just think of all that wasted time on everybody’s part.

Furthermore, I remember so many classes where I would have to sit and wait for other students to catch up with their learning and understanding which further misused my time in class.

This is where my point of not everyone being created equal exists. Some students are simply better than others in different subjects. I was generally better at science, math and English. But other students that struggled in those subjects could often run circles around me in the arts or more technical classes. I am sure that many of you have experienced the same thing.

Instead of pushing everyone towards the same sort of mundane standardized test goals, we should embrace every individual’s skills and abilities earlier in life. They should be set  on a course towards studies in an area that interests them and that they are good at.

Perhaps a system that keeps with our current model of K-8 should be kept intact with a few improvements such as basing classes off of students with similar performance abilities. It may hurt a few feelings at first, but if this was how it was it wouldn’t raise any eyebrows.

Then the final four years of what would have been 9-12 grade should now be spent in schools dedicated to enhancing each individual’s inclination to a certain subject.

Simply put, if you were interested in sciences you should attend a science-based school. You shouldn’t be reading Shakespeare as it wouldn’t be pertinent to your interests.

Similar subject area-based schools would exist for the arts and math and so on.

In essence, in order to keep our country moving forward, we need to reinvent our backwards education system.