Is our school system creative enough
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These past years many people have being giving our school system critique for not being creative enough. Ken Robinson is a "educationalist" who often speaks about integrating the arts back into the school system. He finds that the education system is too focused on only one particular kind of knowledge, the academic knowledge.
In a TED- talk Robinson talks about why we still to this day only focus on the academics. He argues that before a degree was worth a lot more. When he himself was growing up a degree ment a job, and a well paid one as well. Now getting a degree is the norm and the chance that your degree will result in a job is quite slim. Robinson want"s to see a change in the schools priorities, he wants children to find out what they're good at while they go to school. He also want"s a class like dance to have the same significance as a math class.
While i do think that it is important that children get to express themselves in school it would be incredibly hard to make a fair school system where all possible talents are of the same value and importance. For example in a elementary school one child is really amazing at playing the violin and another child is amazing at math. If the violin lessons replace the math lessons, how is the child playing the violin going to reach the same competence as the child who has progressed in math? I do not think it would be fair or smart to let both those children into an education leading, for example, to a doctor"s degree. The violin playing child is probably not going to be able to keep up, which of course is not a fun experience nor beneficial to their development.
Maybe the solution is to just let the children choose if they want to get an education in the arts or in the traditional academics. But at what age are they going to make that choice? At twelve as they do in the Netherlands? Is a twelve year old capable to decide their future?
Or should all kids just get to learn every skill there is, because if there is going to be a course for painting, is there also going to be one for, dance, music, theater, crafts, cooking and one for every sport? Then the children that are in school will have literally no spare time.
It is a beautiful idea, that all talents would be valued equally and in the future i do hope that we get at least somewhat closer to Robinsons ideal. For today though i think that it would be better to wait for an actual plan before we start this "revolution". The theory is great but i am not convinced that it is going to work in practice.
Also, who better to point out weaknesses in the American Education system than a non-American?
Anyway, my substantives are:
1) Students keep changing classes (Counter-policy)
2) American Schools lack mandatory co-curricular activities
3) Too much focus is placed on Community Service
4) Lack of autonomy in school events.
From what I understand, American students follow individual timetables and change classroom after every lesson.
This should not be the case. Countries such as Singapore arrange students in fixed classes which students share with the same people for every subject for the whole year. This style of schooling instills in students a greater sense of camaraderie as they interact with the same people for the whole day instead of a couple hours every week. This in turn prompts students to achieve greater feats as a class along with their form tutor (Homeroom teacher). For example, my school had a class which was notorious but very united. So united in fact, that they achieved an official school award for it. Currently my own class seems to be following the same route (even got the same form tutor). When the class is united in this way, form tutors can then have contact time with the class which is in itself a creative idea. As far as I know, American schools do not practise this and hence, their education system lacks creativity.
I believe that this is a simple solution to the system "lacking creativity" and any generation of "freshmen" will be easily pioneer this academic revolution.
To conclude, one reason why the American education system lacks creativity is due to the lack of unity in classes. If classes were fixed as stated above, a greater sense of unity could be achieved thus prompting the students themselves to facilitate a creative learning environment.
My second substantive, lacking mandatory Co-curricular activities (CCA) is another reason why I find the American Education System lacking in creativity. A CCA is any activity organised by the school that is conducted on a regular basis and is unrelated to the academic curriculum. An example of a CCA is the Soccer team and Drama Club.
A CCA promotes friendships outside the classroom and allows students to take a more hands-on role in their school life. In Singapore, the teachers are not as hands-on regarding CCAs as they are in other countries. Instead, the year 4 and year 3 students are in charge of facilitating the CCA. Especially in a uniformed group such as the Saint John Ambulance Brigade where year 4s and year 3s organise each training session and stick to the plan. This not only fosters closer bonds between the younger and older students, it also allows the senior students to develop leadership skills.
In conclusion, mandatory CCAs and student leadership are ways in which the American Education System could promote a creative environment.
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