The Instigator
Mega3bb
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ss5565
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should our lives be controlled by academic success?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 940 times Debate No: 70803
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Mega3bb

Con

I am arguing that current conditions rely too much on academic success in order for someone to become successful in terms of job, wealth and social standing. I am arguing that schools place too much emphasis on academic success, that employers look more highly at academics and that overall life opportunities shouldn't be governed by how we do in exams.
ss5565

Pro

This house states that our lives should be controlled be academic success to a certain extent. The main flaw in your argument is that you fail to provide a feasible solution to the current system and there is a slight mistake in what you say about how "employers look more highly at academics". While this is true in most circumstances, it is still a large generalization. For many students, grades act as "the given". You must get good grades to go into schools and places of work, but they do NOT only want to see that. They also wish to see what you have done otherwise. That is why it is so important to have community and service activities on a resume. In addition, they look for passion in something. However, before you can exhibit your passions and community and service, you must exhibit the ability to understand the basic skills and academic successes provide us with that ability.

Your argument provides no new system for determining how qualified a person is for a university or a job. Let us say that we put all our importance and focus on community and service for high school students and that university base their admissions only on this. When the student arrives at university his/her grades will be miserably low and that looks bad for the university. In addition, it is bad for the economy because a person with low qualifications without the ability to contribute to society contributes to the social welfare loss.

On the other hand academic successes provide us with a tool to determine qualifications. It allows us to make sure that people are well-qualified for universities and jobs and that they can contribute to the economy. Without exams there is no practical way to show others your ability to understand the basic information taught in school so that you may progress with the more advanced opportunities late in life.
Debate Round No. 1
Mega3bb

Con

I will argue my point by offering an alternative system and giving examples of how using other skills can be beneficial. I will also demonstrate how, despite resumes and interviews, many places still only get a small view of the actual person who is applying.

Firstly, my suggestion for an alternative system (this may also address my second point). I would change the system so that, alongside academic exams and CVs, I would have candidates write a document, detailing the full type of person they are, previous experiences, references (I know that these are already used, but I would use them as an accessory, not a basis for the type of person you are) and how they feel they would fit into a workplace environment. This is effectively a large extension of the interview process, whereby a candidate is reviewed in person but before making a judgement, the interviewer would compare and contrast the document written by the candidate.

My overall aim for this system is for the company/university to not just get a look at a face behind academic results, but also to place higher value in the person they are prospectively employing. This would be beneficial in places in which it is important to understand colleagues, such as in newspapers, university courses and places in which teamwork is paramount. This would enable not only those people who achieved high grades to gain the places, but also open them up to those who didn't achieve quite so highly, yet are far more suited to the world in which they would be working. The benefits would also stretch to the companies and universities. It would be more productive for places where teamwork is needed to be successful, for example in a bank or hedge fund, to have people who were good at cooperating, finding practical and new solutions that could improve the workplace to work alongside those who were gifted at working by the rules and efficient by themselves.

I think that there are some arguments you made that can be addressed. I have just provided examples of solutions and explained myself. You have made generalisations and have taken ideas to the extreme, such as giving examples in which universities look only at service and community, when the point that I am trying to make is that the best and brightest opportunities shouldn't be open to only those good at passing exams (which I think should still be undertaken at the present standard), and instead focusing equally on the type of people they are, not using it as an extra that can only increase your chances.
ss5565

Pro

Your points are interesting, but your "alternative"system is already in place and is surely not "alternative", but rather "slightly modified". Already, in college admissions, many universities consider what is known as "the holistic view". They do not only consider your academics, but also extracurriculars, passions, etc. In fact, universities do not like seeing only academic successes, however it is still fundamental and is a controlling factor. Interviews with universities or employers often contain questions such as "how do you think you will fit in?", "where do you see yourself in a few years?", and "What do you have to offer as a person?". Already, universities and employers see who is behind the academic successes, but those academic successes are still highly necessary.

Think of a tree. The leaves and branches can twist and turn in beautiful patterns, but they are still rooted to the ground via the trunk. The trunk is the academic success. Every tree has it and the thing that makes a tree unique is the design of the branches and leaves, but the academic success is necessary. Without that controlling factor in life none of the other factors carry much weight.

I would like to correct some flaws in your argument. You seem to have completely misunderstood that the point on community and service was an EXAMPLE. I explicitly state "Let us say" - a standard phrase used at the beginning of an example. You are straw-manning my argument and you are accusing me falsely of drawing extreme generalizations. Also, you state that "the best and brightest opportunities shouldn't be open to only those good at passing exams (which I think should still be undertaken at the present standard), and instead focusing equally on the type of people they are, not using it as an extra that can only increase your chances."

Why should we do this? Grades are important and academic successes are so powerful because they define the analytical and educational abilities of an individual. Simply being a good person is not enough, especially in our relatively fast-paced world. Economies rise and fall, new technologies come and go. We need to be efficient, so the best way to do so is to use academic successes. I am sure you are a very nice person with a great personality and outlook on the future, but that will not help unless universities and employers know you are a hard and efficient worker - academic successes show them that. Once they know you are a good worker, then they can explore what type of person you are, but give me three satisfactory reasons as to why they should higher you just because you are a good person who can actively participate in a team if your grades are not reasonable and academic successes are not many?

Teamwork is important (you are correct), but you have failed to realize that in order to exhibit good teamwork to universities and employers, you must first exhibit competency through academic successes.

Please be careful to understand this house's arguments before making accusations. The "alternative" system you propose is merely a modification to the current system that millions of students, including our family members and friends, have gone through. Grades and academic successes still stand as the most important and controlling factors is determining a person"s competence and abilities because they enable universities and employers to decide who can best help carry their university or business forward in our global economy and that is why they should control our lives.
Debate Round No. 2
Mega3bb

Con

Mega3bb forfeited this round.
ss5565

Pro

The opposing house has forfeited this round. He/she must understand the importance and vitality of academic successes. As stated before, academic successes should control our lives because they give others a chance to see how we can work and what we can contribute to universities, employees, and economies as a whole. Simply looking at what type of personality someone has is not enough - if you cannot contribute to society (assuming you have the ability - we should not discriminate against those who cannot, such as those with special needs or handicaps), then why should universities of employees consider you? The opposing side has failed to come up with a convincing and viable replacement for academic successes.
Debate Round No. 3
Mega3bb

Con

Mega3bb forfeited this round.
ss5565

Pro

The CON has once again forfeited the round. Academic successes are still the most important portion of lives in terms of letting universities and employers know of our qualifications. Simply being a good person with open thinking is not good enough, as there is no just way of determining a person's level of open or narrow-mindedness. However, academic successes provide universities and employers with a method of deciding how valuable a person will be - it answers the questions "What do they have to offer us?" and "How can they benefit us?" This type of thinking drives competition and allows economies to continue to progress.

The CON came up with an "alternative" which only offers slight modifications to the current system. Students are often asked to come in for interviews, write essays, and fill out their resumes with all activities, including hobbies and extracurriculars. However, before this, student must maintain a basis - the academic realm. As such, academic successes still form the essential trunk of the tree which is why, until we come up with a viable solution, they must control our lives in terms of employment and education.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Chinara_O 2 years ago
Chinara_O
acadamic achievement is not only about what you have learnt, but more about how much you can transfer the knoledge or skill you have acquired to practical application.
Posted by SkepticalDefender 2 years ago
SkepticalDefender
No, academics is important. In everything, while academics should not control your entire life, but a portion of it. Me personally I love learning things that I'm interested in, like biology, the Big Bang, evolution
Posted by Chinara_O 2 years ago
Chinara_O
You argued that our society has placed too much emphasis on academic success, and you said that our overall life opportunities shouldn't be governed by how we do in exams. However, the truth is that academic success is not always the determining factor in terms of seeking employment or social standing like you said ,but success in different industries really depends on your personal situation ,which is more about your ambition ,the visoin and of course the capability or skills you have to achieve it .
Posted by Mega3bb 2 years ago
Mega3bb
No, I'm not saying that they should care, but often we are told that our lives will depend entirely on how we do in school and college (I'm British so don't take SATs) and that this is often the case, and that other aspects should also-not instead of-be taken into account
@Toxifrost
Posted by Toxifrost 2 years ago
Toxifrost
So is this mainly about just standardized test results being used? Cause employers don't look at that $hit at all. If this is about how employers shouldn't care about how you did in school then I would say your rediculous as intelligence is one of the most important things in life.
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