Freaking school, am I right? You can try telling a student whatever you like in hopes of you might just be able to elevate the educational system in their eyes, but I can guarantee it won’t work. “Hey, kid, in ten years you’re going to be a tax payer and you’ll struggle to manage a full time job that you hate, with domestic arguments over who forgot to walk the dog today.” Nope, school still sucks. Whatever’s up ahead can’t be that bad. “You know, high school years are the most amazing years, you make tons of new friends that last a lifetime!” Yeah, try telling that to the real life Nelson Muntz, who just shoved my head in the toilet. It’s basically a lost hope. But no matter how much various cranky baby boomers and generation X representatives love to brush it off as teenagers today simply being lazy and whiny, it’s not like that. There is a good reason why most students would rather fling themselves into the boiling depths of a volcano than have to go to school, because there are 5 Scientifically Proven Reasons Why We Hate School.
1. Factory Design
Even if you’ve never been to a factory, I’m guessing you can assume how things work there. Let’s say we’re talking about a factory that produces trashcan plastic bags (I don’t know, okay?). There are thousands of these bags exiting its doors on a daily basis, which means that everything there is mass-produced on a large scale. It’s basically a process of “one bag done, next, another bag done, next.” This is how the educational system was designed over a hundred years ago.
In 1890, ten people sat at a table and decided that schools shouldn’t be allowed to each choose its own methods of teaching, and settled on implementing a standardized educational plan for all schools. This is how we arrived to the grade system we know and hate today. You spend one year sitting your desk, then – boom – you advance to a higher grade. Try to imagine if this is what happened when cooking. Instead of having muffins bake and grow based on ingredients, they grow depending on how many hours you spend in front of the oven staring at them. Yeah, this is basically it.
2. Standardized Testing
The absolute archenemy of American students: standardized testing. Through their primary and secondary school years, students of the U.S. have to take a total of 113 tests, all thanks to the Cold War. Did you hear that right? Well, yes. Many of the advances and drastic changes in America happened during a time when the USA and the Soviets spent most of their time sling-shotting rotten eggs over each other’s fences.
In the 80’s, someone filed a report where he basically complained that the educational system was failing and that they needed to enslave their students, robotize them and use them to laugh in USSR’s face. That’s not what was written there, but given the results, I think it’s close enough. So, this is how the American system came to implement one of its most loathed features. The funniest thing, though, is that it completely backfired. Education in the USA has been stagnant for the most years, whereas countries like Finland, where students take a grand total of one exam at the end of the years, have one of the highest ranking educational systems in the world.
3. Benefits Of The Wealthy
This isn’t even about college tuition fees, but about how much the government invests in its schools. Believe it or not, it invests a lot. In fact, USA has one of the biggest budgets allowed for education in the world. As an unfortunate paradox, many public schools aren’t doing that great. And by “aren’t doing that great,” I mean that some are about to completely crumble to a pile of dust.
We can attribute this to a vicious cycle of founding. The majority of the money pumped in schools come from taxes that are typically collected from real estate. Long story short, neighborhoods with rich people have more money to direct towards taxes, and therefore they have better schools, with the opposite applying to poor neighborhoods.
4. Calculator Monopoly
This is a lot more specific, but you probably know that you are now allowed to bring a calculator with you to your math exams. That sounds like a good thing, right? Well, yeah, in theory. The actual problem is the fact that you are banned from bringing any other type of calculator, with the exception of the Texas Instruments calculator, which is insanely expensive. How expensive? About $100, that’s how.
So many questions are raised from this concept that it’s difficult to find a starting point. Why does it matter what brand of calculator you’re bringing? Why can’t it be a phone? Why is it so expensive, to begin with? It looks like a bad prototype reject from the 70’s. Then again, it could be because some come with an included game of Snake. Yeah, that totally justifies it.
5. Everyone Ignores Student Opinions
And all of the problems converge to one common point: we can complain about all the wrong things with schools all we want, no one is going to pay attention to them. Go ahead and write a fifty page essay, with coherent and researched arguments and backup from Nobel winners, it still won’t convince officials that anything other than their opinion matters.
What early stage education really needs is to take a page from the college system, and ask for students’ opinions at the end of semesters. Many would say this is pointless, but studies have shown that the most reliable way to grade a teacher’s performance is through the eyes of the students. All that needs to happen is for prejudices and stereotypes to be dropped. Contrary to popular belief, students don’t thumbs up every teacher who idly sits by and does nothing. A good teacher will be able to grab and hold your attention and carry a class that’s so entertaining, you won’t even care about the homework due tomorrow.
With all that being said, America has been pleading for a change in the educational system for a while now. While many European countries manage to make steps forward by encouraging unique and practical learning experiences for students, the USA stagnates and harms its youth in the process. These were 5 Valid Reasons Why We Hate School, which we hope will disappear in the nearest future.