Why Do We Focus So Much On School

Don’t get me wrong, learning is great! I love learning new things. If you can explain (very simply, might I add. I’m not a genius) anything interesting, or make something uninteresting sound exactly the opposite, I am all for it. My problem is with school.
School focuses not so much on learning as it does grades. Passing. Getting it done. And it starts to give students that mindset as well.
I hate school with a passion. The people are irritating, the curriculum always moves too fast or too slow (more often the former), and teachers don’t care. They just want you to pass your tests and get out of their class. (I’m not saying that’s all teachers, I’m saying it’s a lot.) This has a very negative effect on some students. I know it does for me. See, the amount I care for school is usually at zero. Homework? I don’t care, I’ll do it later, turn it in late, not do it at all. But sometimes, the weight that everyone puts on the average student comes crashing down on me and I start to panic. (I’m never gonna do anything with my life, I’m a failure, things like that.) There’s always a little part of my brain that says “No! Stop, don’t do this to yourself! You’re great, you’ll do fine, you don’t need to worry, calm down,” but I usually end up crying a lot and hating everything. (I know, it sucks.)
I cry a lot. Sometimes about fandoms, but that’s a given. And even then it’s not a lot. But anytime someone mentions school, or tries to talk about my future, or anything of that sort, I end up in the previous mindset and start crying. (Naturally, I find my way to a different room. I’ve hidden in the bathroom to cry before. It’s not fun.)
Something is obviously VERY wrong when the very mention of school sends me into such a state. Yes, it may be partially my screwed up brain, but a majority of the blame rests upon the school system. (Finally reached the point I was trying to make!)
Also, it seems to be common for parents to force their kids into choosing a college (At least, that’s what my parents are trying. I leave and cry in another room before they get very far.) Honestly, I’m not sure where I want my life to go, and everyone seems to be pressuring me to make a decision. (For Pete’s sake, my little sister is in middle school and she knows she wants to do culinary school. Why couldn’t that have been me?) I don’t have any talents (or none that I’m aware of, at least) and no specific interests (besides the obvious fandoms.) At the moment, I’ve said “Yeah, sure, I’ll be a librarian or something” but that’s not really that appealing either. Nothing is.
Whoa we went waaaay off track there. My point is, at what point did loving school and being able to learn turn into me crying at the very word?
(Woooow too deep man. Sorry I shoved all that on you guys. I got really upset earlier and it made me think a little.)
~Coolio out

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2 thoughts on “Why Do We Focus So Much On School

  1. This is how I felt about school a lot of the time, in fact I still feel that way about much of schooling. I adore learning, I learn things for fun quite often, but the school system made a lot of learning difficult through it’s structure.
    The author Alfie Kohn suggested that the reason for this is the structure of the school system, and in fact the work force it’s attempting to prepare you for, is nested in unnecessary structural competition. He wrote a book about it called “The case against competition”
    He ha also composed many papers concerning the school system, most of which are strong critiques.
    Here’s a link to his paper concerning grades and why grading itself is an outdated method of measuring accrued knowledge: http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/tcag.htm – His site also has many other relevant articles, and interviews on the subject of what the current school system is not very conducive to learning and creativity. http://www.alfiekohn.org/tapesdvd.htm
    Also have you heard the very famous TED talks by Sir Ken Robinson? They’re about the “modern” school system is based in outmoded enlightenment (late 1800′s) era thinking, preparing students primarily for factory work and stifling creativity.
    Here’s the RSAnimate video for it, which is a condensed version of his first talk, taking the best bits out of the middle: http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U
    But if you’re like to see both videos in their entirety, they are on the TED site, here: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity
    – and here: http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution
    That’s probably already a whole lot of information realistically speaking, so umm, if you don’t mind I’ll come back to this topic later with my own thoughts in hopes of giving you time to potentially (if you’re interested) digest the thought of the thinkers I’ve linked you. ^_^

    • Oh, thank you for the links. I’ve never actually heard of them. I look forward to hearing more from them. 🙂
      And of course, I love hearing what others think. And, yeah, I have trouble with posts like this because there’s so many different points I’m trying to make at once.

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