A blog raveled in randomness
I doubt the majority of the children who attend school feel like entering the campus with big smiles on their faces and spirited hands motioning for an imminent musical number with classmates as backup dancers (like Jeff, the above, in ‘Community’ season 3 episode 1). So I pose a question in the open: do we need an institution called school? I am not asking whether we need education or not, but if we need a building packed up with confused teenagers who are trying to figure out who they are–shove them into an environment where the academic side is gobboling up the ‘spiritual’ side (I am not referring to a religious context, but more about self-reflection) of growing up.
And do not think that school is a passage everyone has to take before going into the ‘real-world’ because high school and the ‘real’ society is different. High school can never prepare one to get ready for society because to succeed in the society we have been buildng over centuries are built on stature and your college degree. That is all what school is. The modern institution of growing smart little ‘adults’ has turned into a machine of creating dolls with certificates that can be used later as decorations for developing the school’s prestigious history. Some schools have turned into more about grades rather than the education itself. Education is important. But the mode of deliverance has become askewed and I believe children have become more concerned about which college to apply to rather than which current subject they would like to explore more on their own time.
I strongly believe that education is significant in life. For me, my mode of communication is built through education so I would be able to converse with my friends or families. For my brother, his artistic expressions with breakdancing and graffiti art is built through education. For most of my friend, their volunteer work of teaching English in third countries is built through education. Education is not academic. Education is process of learning in life, in self expression and in compassion.
Education has become more about telling than teaching. Education has become more about ‘this-and-that’ with a grade system. Education has become more about getting good grades, which sometimes encourage desperate students to cheat or drag into situations of harming others’ integrity with greed. Education has been tainted somewhat as the school instituion continued to grow. The process of learning is being omitted in the lives of growing teenagers, and the children are becoming students with a homogeneous identity crafted by teachers from each subject.
I am not saying that we should destroy all school grounds. We started this instituion because it benefited the society at the beginning. I am suggesting that our attitude toward education and the system of schools should be altered towards what the students want to actually love to learn. Without doubt, school is our childhood. We had spent from 7:00 to 16:00 daily on weekdays over about ten months per year, but most of those times we are daydreaming in classrooms and crash-studying before quizzes and tests. Some students attend school because they were told, but that attitude needs to be changed and it can happen when school system shifts its attention towards creativity.
Creativity is never wrong or right. No matter how cliched the message has been throughout the years, one’s imagination is unlimited and all of those ideas produced in one’s mind is never a letter grade A or F. However the school instituion has developed a system where students are afraid to use their creativity because it might be marked as ‘wrong’ and affect their report card. Teachers and head principles of schools need to move away from marking individual creativity and shooting down a kid’s dream by telling them: ‘Don’t waste your time because you’re never going to be an artist’. Math is important. Art is important. Science is important. Music is important. Schools need to have an equal amount of availability for the art department and not teach one side of academics because it gives a higher chance for undergraduate or job entries. Do not teach children by what they should become in our society, and do not predetermine the future of students in our terms. We need to teach our children in their terms and recognize their creativity.
Do we need school? Yes, we do. But the school I am talking about is not an institution of creating children as future commodities for our fast-growing society. The school I am talking about is a social place where creativity can flourish and does not dismiss one’s capacity of mind or creativity. Not all wrong answers are ‘creative’, but what I am trying to say is that we need to be wise in using what we have. And that includes our body and mind. Education is about the students and schools need to help them grow as a whole, both body and mind.