One thing I’ve noticed is how most schools follow the same philosophy: train kids up to be dispirited worker drones for the system. I have a profound feeling that if I called the shots, I’d do things very differently.
How differently? Well, I’ve noticed that plenty of things that schools do are based on outdated ideals. I’d like to do things in different way, in a way I think is progessive than the old way.
Without further ado, let me tell you what policies I’d put in place.
No school uniform
I already mentioned my disdain for the concept of everyone being made to wear the same thing. I think that there’s a good thing to abolishing the school uniform. For example, parents could save money sending their child to a school without uniforms, as their kids would only have to use the clothes they already have.
Secondly, if you want to prevent bullying and discrimination, you have to do that yourself. I think parents should actually step up and take better care of their kids, or do they want to live lazy lives of selfishness, whilst watching their kids grow up in failure?
I think I’ve made my case.
I already mentioned why homework is bad. In fact, I think it’s one of the chief reasons why kids hate going to school so much, because their teachers are sadistic enough to make them do work that they may as well be doing in class.
Some people might say “homework is useful”, but how can something be useful if you don’t want it? High school teens can’t really be expected to do homework. After all, they’ll rebel against anything an adult has them do, whether or not it has any justification.
Beyond that, all it does is recreate the classroom experience in the home environment, and therefore destroying the motivation to learn. I feel that kids will benefit more without homework, than if they had homework.
A different grading system
Did you know that in Finland, schools don’t grade their students (or at least not in the conventional way), they don’t rank their students, and they don’t have standardized tests? Yes, they do that in Finland, and their education figures are through the roof.
On the issue of grades, I believe that they only serve to turn learning into competition, and they contribute to today’s anti-intellectualism because the education system, which is hated by those with low grades, actively makes it out so that kids with high grades are “teacher’s pets”.
The thought that their work is being graded has actually been shown to do more harm to kids than good, and makes school look like a totalitarian regime. But I think the biggest problem with grading kids is that their always encouraged to get a mark that’s beyond their grasp as though their superhumans.
I propose a better system for evaluating student’s work. I think that every task/assignment should be evaluated individually, and if you fail, you should be able to go back and correct your mistakes. Your work can have four different kinds of results:
- Fail (you now what that means)
- Pass (the only result you have to get)
- Merit (optional, but better than Pass)
- Distinction (optional, but it would be awesome)
How do I know this works? They use it in college! What I’m advocating is the same system they use in my college course, which is actually more efficient than grading. Alternatively, I could just not give grades, like in Finland.
No standardized tests, and no exams
As I just mentioned, Finland has no standardized tests, and their system outperforms the Western education system. Let’s narrow down on tests and exams. All they really do is promote needless competition in the classroom. You may think that it’s good for them, but competition does not work in the class environment, and only serves to distract kids from learning.
Besides, no human being likes having to spend night after night revising for a test/exam.
On the issue of final exams, they fill teens with nothing but dread, especially when you instil the idea that your score will haunt you for the rest of your life. I looked all around me, and nobody I knew enjoyed it. I hated it. I remember doing my GSCE’s in 2010, and I remember nothing but that unholy dread that looms upon you during the summer exam season.
I’ll expand on this topic next month.
No religious assembly
My final issue is the idea that every kid should be gathered in one place to praise Jesus. All it does is make me question whether or not this is a secular society.
Besides, I think it devalues the fact that some kids could be raised with an entirely different religious background. As an atheist, and a secularist, I believe that religion should not be forced on kids, and they should be allowed to find their own religion. Religion is not nearly as important as learning.
What we really need is a reform of the entire education system, because it could mean crime going down, productivity going up, and happy kids who’ll end up following their dreams and becoming successes. Is that such a crime?