Debate Rounds (4)
'if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will think its a failure its whole life'
If schools are good for children, like you say, what about the 40% of them that don't achieve 5 GCSE's grade A to C? What has school done for them that couldn't of been done by something else? 40% is huge, its almost half for gods sake! If you had a factory that made 40% of its products faulty, it would be shut down!
So yer, school might be good for those kids who typically would of done alright anyways (because of their socio-economic class), but what about all those who fail?
School does not encourage learning. Those who are interested may continue to be interested but few, if any, are brought to this mentality purely by schooling. From my experience I have found very few people my own age (and I mean like 2 people) that are interested in anything but man made things. For example football, cars, tv shows, music, celebrities and other shallow things such as, for men at least, women (but purely from a sexual perspective). Things like science, nature, history, politics, the universe, our bodies and biology are 'nerdy' or too an older person simply 'boring'. Funny how these things are the things we are forced to learn against our will throughout our entire childhood. Rule number 1: if you want a child to hate something; make them do it all the time against their will. This is Rule number 1 for human behaviour: that we want what we carnt have, and we don't want to do what we have to do, and we spoil ourselves with what we have.
Also the hole process of learning is outdated and frankly boring. I mean, look at David attenbourgh's nature documentaries: if I saw that in school I would be hooked. There are also many documentaries and video's online that just make science wonderful, despite all this however, we still insist children sit in a class room at 9 o'clock in the morning (a time which is proven to be bad for learning for children as they are not meant to be awake at this time) and be force fed information about a subject they have no interest in. To learn something, you must first WANT too. Schools do not do this for children, it expects them to learn things in fear of a result of a test. Also once a child fails a test he/she loses their confidence and can become disengaged further, lowering their self-esteem.
Also school only recognizes what we call academic intelligence, anyone who is expert at something that doesn't fit under this category is deemed 'stupid'. I know all the political correctness and all that but at the end of the day, this is the effect it has on the child's perception of themselves. Indeed, the child may not even know they have these talents as the system that is designed to enhance them, fails to notice. Even more worrying, is that even if a child is gifted at something regarded as academic, they can be squandered. Good examples of this include Einstein. School regarded him as a failure and failed him, he went to university through contacts and they thought him usless too. Had it not been for a friend and a string of chance situation, Einstien would have remained a lowly clerk and we would not know his name now. Another example is the Beatles; one particular MUSIC teacher had half the Beetles in his class and recognized no musical talent. Another example includes particular dancer and founder of an extremely successful dance school, she was thought to be disruptive and could of been diagnosed as having ADHD, but because of a fluke incident and an intelligent psychologist, she was discovered to be a natural dancer. She went to a dance school instead of normal school and ended up becoming a millionaire and brought joy to millions. So how many other potential geniuses has school overlooked? what are we now missing because of the school system squandering talents.
It is my view that we are all potential geniuses, that intelligence is unique to the individual and that we can all be geniuses in our own way and in our own area of knowledge. There is enough knowledge and work to be uncovered and done for everybody and every different kind of talent is needed. School is uniform, it makes all children jump through the same hoops and feel a failure if the don't adhere to the schools narrow view of intelligence. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will think its whole life it is a failure.
So to wrap it up, 40% of people 'fail'.
Forcing people to learn (if you actually want them to learn, which I believe the system doesn't) is clearly ignorant to anyone who knows the first thing about human psychology.
We judge intelligence in one way, and this is key to what is wrong with the system.
Finally, our method of teaching (classroom, tests, early starts and long days) is frankly no good. I could write a book on this last point so I am trying to not get carried away.
Also I would like to add that my personal experience of school was terrible, even though I am more 'academic' than anyone I have ever met !
One argument against this idea is that you wouldn"t get to take long trips. True, you might not get to take one for more than three weeks, but who does? Usually a vacation is a week or so. If you were really looking forward to that long trip, why not take three (of even four) short trips, one during each break? You would see more places that way.
Now, I know some of you think this isn't going to make school any better, but Elisabeth Palmer, project director at the Center for Applied Research (author of Year-Round Education) said, "The net results indicated that after one year of experiencing a 60-15 calendar [60 days of school and 15 of vacation], students felt more positively about year-round education." She also said her studies indicate that "53 percent favored year-round education during the summer before implementation, while 79 percent favored it at the end of the first year."
Another possible argument against year-round school is that students would have fewer days of learning because just when they would be getting into things, a break would come. I can see this point because we would be having one right in the middle of our current school schedule. But the actual learning time would increase. After breaks, the students would be refreshed and ready to listen better. Also, students won"t have to relearn what they forget over the summer since they would only be out of school for three weeks at a time. When they return after these short breaks, they would be ready to pick up where they left off.
Donald Beggs, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, researched summer learning and "confirmed statistically what every teacher knew intuitively. This is that basic skills must be reviewed for as long as one month each September before the teacher moved onto new curricular ground." John Theodore Stenvall, Ph.D. has studied numerous year-round schools and came to this conclusion: "The first year of longitudinal study, 2000, showed that there was greater progress in schools with certain year-round calendars than in those on traditional calendars." He also said, "Schools on balanced calendars (single track) outperformed gains recorded for traditional calendar schools at all levels."
I feel that year-round schooling would benefit students. I think that with it you could actually have more vacations. Also, students would learn more because they wouldnt have to relearn information after long breaks.
CarolHan forfeited this round.
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