The Instigator
k-chen123
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Elshara
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The school system is in need of reform. Big time.

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Post Voting Period
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 671 times Debate No: 45234
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

k-chen123

Pro

First round is for acceptance.
I would like to mention that this is for high schools, not elementary schools, in Canada and the United States as both education systems are similar for high school.
Elshara

Con

the school system is not at fault, the people who run it are. Kids need new direction, they can't get it from anyone other than the system itself. Experience is the best teacher in life and all school does is use textbook answers to try to prep kids up for graduate school and marks. It's wrong, but the school itself suffers less attacks than the things that happen inside it. there is no direction when there should be, no care to what happens in the real world, when someone gets into trouble, guess whose the first to get sent to the office for trying to speak their mind against varying parameters someone else deems unacceptable. No wonder protest rates are so high. I agree to disagree, the bottom line is what are you really teaching people, something that happened or something that you need to use through out life at the prime time of being alive. Why call it a requirement?
Debate Round No. 1
k-chen123

Pro

I would also like to point out that it is the system that hires these people in the first place, adding more to the fact that the school system should be reformed. However, I agree with what con says in his argument above but I believe that there are also many other things wrong with the school system.

1. Useless mandatory subjects:
By mandatory subjects I mean Mathematics, Science, Language, and History/Social Studies. I would like to know if there is a occupation where all of these subjects have a major role in. For example, a historian will obviously need history, but what use is mathematics and science to him? None. All life time careers that can bring success relies on at least 1 of the 4 but none use all of said subjects, rendering years of schools to waste on taking classes that may genuinely interest them and serve them later in life. I understand that some may argue that there are underlying messages to these subjects such as using history as a medium of developing critical thinking skills and etc. However my rebuttal is that teens cannot learn these underlying messages when they are forced to learn something they have no interest in and bear resentment to teachers that try to force these lessons upon us by making the course very difficult.

2. Requirement for community service hours to graduate:
I firmly believe a certain philosophy, which is that people that like X will do Y regardless of Z. In this case, people that are helpful/enjoy helping others will volunteer regardless of any obligations from the school. Those who are forced to do these things will often volunteer in community events where there are lots of children. Those teens a lack of interest for anything around them for the entire time that they are there, and they will converse with their friends when no one is "looking", which gives way for a bad role model.

3. Lack of diversity of classes for early years of high school:
What do people mean when they say science? Chemistry? Physics? Biology? People have very diverse tastes when it comes to their interests. A man could love chemistry, but for some reason despise ecology. We are to learn the very basics of these things which builds the foundations of our knowledge for future scientists. There is also much diversity for mathematics such as algebra, calculus, and trigonometry. We as teens should have some idea on what we plan to do in the future, and thus should learn very specific subjects by the 9th grade not 11th. If most children do not have at least some idea on their strengths and weaknesses, then the school has neglected its duty to prepare them for the future, as school is not simply a place to learn random facts.

4. Lack of freedoms:
School is nothing less of an oligarchy controlled by the administration. We, as students have no voice in the important matters, only perhaps in things such as one day events such as dances which not everyone is interested in. How can we expect teens to live in a democracy when they are literally have been told what to do for the last 13 years. The student council has no power other than organizing said events.

5. Lack of classes that fully encourage critical thinking:
As I have mentioned, one possible underlying message of history is to develop thinking skills through teachers asking questions such as "Why do you thing X did Y during Z?" but as clearly indicated in this website, many students despise history thinking of it as nothing more than a time waster, indicating a lack of gravity when it comes to this subject in the classroom. Now I ask, why do we not teach philosophy in high school? Many careers that lead people to success requires quick and critical thinking skills, such as a lawyer, or a doctor performing surgery, etc. We should at least offer such a class to those interested as it inspires real thinking among students instead of memorizing formulas just to plug in numbers that are found on tests. Students will have no excuse for despise such a class as it is not mandatory and they have the right to voluntarily leave said class within 2 months of school starting, making it their own fault for staying if they despise this class.

I await con for his response.
Elshara

Con

What I'm seeing here in the pro support arguments of their debate is there is an issue with the way schools encourage students to participate in what they call mandatory, in what doesn't help students to grow the way they want to, or the way they should, and that certain choices in a course should be omitted while others should be given at an earlier age and be expanded upon as such giving more meaning to an educational perspective and not so much the perspective to which the course calls, a requirement. Yes, good points, but let me counter this with a further study into the system. for years, many people at the top of the officials board of community directors across Canada and America have stated not everyone has to like what they've been taught. well I counter that proposal because the very basis of education is to teach things that people are going to have to be encouraged or even want to like for their own comfort of survival as they personally state they are interested in said subjects. further more, I'd like to point out that, in and with regards to persons said feelings, they should be focusing on the end result to therefore achieve and receive the knowledge required to get there if that is what they agree to do when they are ready to accept it fully and as such, bring about the first stage towards their educational needs. Now here is where it gets very interesting. All the school system is worth is money, marks and virtual acceptance and all parents do is focus on the symptoms of what that shows as an investment and nothing more regardless of how they are expressed by teachers whose the workers of such a system. I agree with the pro supporter of this argument it is not only wrong it is immoral. the whole grade system proves it by both definition and terminology, specifically relating to systematic responses to pass a virtual system of business, and nothing more. However, to counter the support of the pro in this case, I con with my argument as follows. directly speaking, schools have to start with something and that something needs to be taught not in grade classes, but based on age. the younger you are, the more necessary it is to fill you with things you can personally experience and relate to. Language, communication, writing, all of this you learn in kindergarten more or less. I have outlined here the basic tools on how I think schools should be run. Students should be accepted in an educational institution and research facility for the purpose of growth and life skills. It should only last between preferably the ages of 5 until 10. Once passed that, it should go in to more personal areas of study, covering specifically through the ages of puberty and beyond, what specific strengths and weaknesses each student has with a group of trainers that focus on another level of expertees. Regular work hours should only be considered 4 hours a day with a break in between and days off when the student or the teacher would like them. Personal one on one counciling would ensure the functionality of generations to come will be efficient, smooth and without much cause for concern. No more having to pick your kid up from the office every time he or she doesn't agree with something. Focus on every aspect the student has to offer within them and instead of trying to prey upon their potential at what worth they could value in society, try to focus on their actual desire to be in service or respond to a call within something they see. Show them different things, let them experience what they wish to but don't press them to a tea unless they want to know everything about a particular subject. The more the better, what is practical, weed out the history and give the facts, if you want to learn 20 subjects, you should be able to without having to worry about deadlines, consequences or homework. Most importantly, you should be able to cover a different topic one at a time in about a week span so that you can remember what you experienced in hopes it may stick with you or leave you as you start to make the first changes in your life and if you ask for it, only if you ask for it, you will be tested on how practical you've learned each skill but it wouldn't be a training exercise so much as it would be a lesson of how serious you take something and if you fail, there is no right or wrong just as if you pass, because numbers mean nothing in the end, and that is all that really counts. Unfortunately, schools today would have you believe if you try your best, try harder, enforce a challenge and get graded on how well you can keep it together no matter if you like it or not. It is barbaric and stupid quite frankly, and to be honest, I am more pro than con to the changes needed to make success a life skill, not a promise of worth or value since nothing else is there to say otherwise, that is complete arrogance and it is meant with such a lack of empathy you wonder why psychopaths exist in the world today? Life lesson for you, do the math and remember that kids these days need to fill their brain with experience at young ages to be at their most potential in life, something they throw their interest in and maybe, just maybe, we can come to some sort of a turning point in our society and how we deal with, sorry, how we approach new developments without the need to challenge dominance bred in to us so harshly abandoning our own gifts in exchange for something we are being taught how to numb out of our recognition or instinct. This is why I con for the challenge, because schools as we know it can't be further not at fault than its meaning, it is the people who run it that shape our future.
Debate Round No. 2
k-chen123

Pro

I can see the this debate has gone off topic as both debaters agree with the fact that the school is in need of reform in some way. Therefore the topic is no longer whether or not the school is in need of reform, but rather how should the school be reformed.

Con starts off his argument by noting the immoralities of our school system, and suggests a system where school is not about facts, but rather personal growth. His described method of achieving this would be by abolishing the current grade system, and have students focus on their strengths rather than trying to be well-rounded as the current school system is doing, through learning from something similar to tutors, giving more one-on-one tutoring. In other words a complete reorganization on how individual teachers should teach. While my argument states that certain subjects should be reformed to better suit the student"s strengths and ideals, giving them more flexibility on what they learn in the classes, such as earlier branching of the sciences or introducing new classes such as philosophy. However, I did not state anything that would radically change how the teachers would teach their classes.

A problem with this method would be the #1 thing that ruins a specific class for me and my peers despite any interest in said class, and that would be a bad teacher. How would you change how our schools hires staff, since a bad teacher may ruin a class but is infinitely worse when it is one-on-one as his focus is entirely on you rather than a large number of students and may discourage a teen from taking this course further because of the strictness of the class.

Nonetheless I would like to ask con how this system would work more in-depth as students working with a group of trainers, focusing on a specific subject to promote self-growth can be interpreted in a number of ways. For instance, it could mean students being encouraged to further their knowledge on their interests by having set appointments with individual counselors or trainers, similar to tutoring, while also encouraged to learn more on their own time. However, this would lead to a lack of social development to the students.

Another way this can be interpreted is through students attending class normally, while expert(s) observe their work and work habits through their assignments, and then write up a report, giving their suggestions on how a student could improve their work habits. Yet the problem with that would be that it is unmanageable as there are hundreds if not thousands of students attending a single school, I believe that not many have the patience to write up thorough reports for more than 4 students.

As mentioned above I would like con to explain his idea on changing the school system more in-depth as what he mentioned can be interpreted in a number of ways and will cause confusion, also so that I may get a better understanding of how it works and will be able form a proper argument.
Elshara

Con

My opponent has stated something I have overlooked. My original idea for a school system reformed would be that each student has a selected councilor assigned to them based on their field of interest, however it is a little bit off topic and I apologize. Existing schools within the current system should be more dependent on running things as a group setting rather than as a business formality. My opponent has stated the obvious that things should be more personalized when it comes to how schools ought to deal with students deprived of the norm, however if schools did this, the problem would be too much diversity and as previously discussed as an argument against my ideals, too many students and not enough help. The thing that I suggest in result to this would be to resolve this problem by doing exactly the opposite. Include the school in more group settings but base everyone in every class according to level of expertees and shown level of interest by marks and have small group sessions with more than one teacher in the room to identify the interest in various subjects, so you feel you are a part of something because you are selected because of what others see in you. For example, 50 science students out of 200 do extremely well in their areas of study. Get a couple of teachers to work with a select group of specifically interested students in experiments with science projects related to things they do good at in and help them set up their own schedule depending on what group they wish to spend the most time in. Let the student and the teachers together decide what time works best and make it so that every day of the week while school is in session, the student focuses on just one class for the whole day when they reach a grade level that matches for example, provincial exam level or something of the sort. This way each day is something new and people work at their own pace, a specific day will become the day of special teaching for groups who need it so everything balances out. It would be alternatively easier to cope with course wise, not to mention giving more freedom to everyone.
Debate Round No. 3
k-chen123

Pro

I thank my opponent for explaining his ideas more in-depth.

A summary of what my opponent has said is that, students should be put into classes based on their level of skill and interest in a certain subject so that they are not rushed and can work at their own pace, and should be taught by a group of teachers during a time both students and teachers can agree upon or even the whole day, working on hands on projects. Something that is similar to being tutored.

It is a good system, however this could cause elitism among students as the current school system hides a students mark by giving it to them privately through a report card or giving a student a number then posting the marks assigned to the number rather than the students name. While my opponent's system clearly separates students based on skill level, thus while not showing the exact mark, it can give others a rough estimate of their skill level possibly bringing discrimination if someone is bad at the subject or if someone is exceedingly good at it. I bring this up because simply by being interested in something does not necessarily mean you will be good at it as there are those that, despite struggling, will take certain classes because of their interest in them. Also, as I mentioned above, there are hundreds if not thousands of students attending a single school and I find it implausible if not one of the students happens to be very discriminative and rude, which can will cause problems for students that struggle otherwise things such as bullying would not be a problem in the world and idioms such as "boys will be boys" would not exist. In other words, teens and children may learn more, but those who have not fully grasped the importance of morals or don't care about morals could cause problems for those who struggle.
Elshara

Con

What my opponent says is true, however, students who care more about how well they can personally use a set of tools will be better off at using them if they wish to do so later on in life than those who are accepted because they have a best of the best marks at something they may have all but had to answer a history lesson on and little more. Practical experience if morals say history is to be important should teach us just how real a certain subject is and marks should be graded as such and therefore, based on how well the student can grasp the concept to further their learning since every person learns just that much different and however it be said that certain universal skills of learning can and must be applied in some ways, they must be different in others. As my opponents states, boys must be boys, and bullying sometimes can and does happen, be that as it may, socialization is good for students to mingle amongst each other. In fact, teachers should have public periods where the entire school should get together not just at meal times for students to talk amongst themselves and share what they're learning about with others, free speech is encouraged. I believe it should be made clear to students that having times to talk amongst other schoolers would be a good idea to set up some sort of an academy and have longer break periods to give kids the option to either socialize or do whatever they want during those times as a part of their schedule.
Debate Round No. 4
k-chen123

Pro

My opponent accepts the fact that bullying happens at school, and implies that students that are determined to learn and put their knowledge to use in the future will not be deterred by insults from bullies. My opponent suggests that bully can lead to socialization, from the line "boys must be boys, and bullying sometimes can and does happen, be that as it may, socialization is good for students to mingle amongst each other", which he states is good for teens and recommends that there be a period in which teens can mingle amongst each other to discuss what they've learned or other issues.

I agree that determined students will not be discouraged from bullies and that socialization is a good thing, yet I disagree with the extra period for teens to mingle. I say this since I am a high school student and from personal experience, I have observed that when teens interact it is mostly about short term things. By short term I mean the latest stories, gossip, telling jokes, or playing games, etc. Rarely have I seen teens discuss what they've learned outside the classroom unless it involves a bad teacher, or homework assignments. When I hear my peers talk about homework, it mainly involves the question "Hey, what did you get for question x?" rather than how to do the question and when the students do ask how to do it, others will tell them how to do that 1 particular problem rather than the general formula for similar questions. I have also noticed that students do not open up to teachers much, as when the teacher asks a question only 1 or 2 will answer after a short pause, also that students go to the teacher for help as a sort of last resort. From what I have observed, students will ask their peers about questions they cannot answer, if the peer cannot answer said question, that is when students head to the teacher for advice, only if the assignment is not due the day the student asks his peers. That being said, I believe that the extra period for mingling would be a bad idea as teens may misuse it, however I would agree to short extensions on breaks up to about 5-10 minutes, I believe that anymore than that would be a hindrance to their education.

Again, I would like to stress that this is what I have observed from my school, and I do not know how student to student and student to teacher interactions occur in other schools.
Elshara

Con

I agree with my opponent on the reluctance issues for student and teacher interaction. I believe this happens because no matter how much encouragement a teacher gives, students know its only so long until its time to change classes and if they're not really interested in learning more, someone will put up their hand and speak but they know that if a teachers passion is to teach, they're waiting for the chance to move, to be more involved. People tend to talk amongst themselves about whatever they want when placed in a class room setting. Give them a new project to work on that is more or less hands on with help from someone else and they'll naturally be interested in it more than writing down notes on a piece of paper. Even my teachers knew this, but the problem was, no direct funding was available to cover everyone comfortably. But to optimize the quality of ones education, students need the hands on experience to be able to show teachers how willing they are to remain not only a part of their class, but a part of their choice to remain in it and as much a willing participant as possible to make the teacher student relationship as comfortable as possible. Students should be given the right to be able to choose who they want as a teacher given the options available, see how they work and should be able to transfer to someone who'd be able to help them more through out the year if they need it. Teachers should have low class sizes so they can focus entirely on the teaching of willing students who selected them preferbly over someone else, instead of being chosen who you're going to be in whose class with. A common problem is that teachers feel if they are people whose saying if you get to choose too early on, you'll come by more of a shock when you can't choose what boss you'll work for later, however I'm saying that's really the reason why nobody likes to choose how they learn something because they weren't asked. I know a lot of people whose requested a school transfer because a class they really want to take is being offered and if they want it bad enough, they will and should be given the choice to do so. this is already starting to happen. the biggest step people need to realize is that nobody has really explained to them all of what homework teaches people. they hate doing it, but they have no reason to not do it and so many people don't do it because they forget its not a necessity. For that reason alone, it should be banned or not required to pass a course, but the experience and interest shown in practical experience should compensate the need to have homework accept in projects where there's no other way, such as science or math. And, if people want to know more about them, the internet is our best friend. Either way, something has to be done about the necessity of how people view the school system and higher priorities need to be set clearly on what problems happen while at school, and how to make jobs less stressful by focusing on the quality of a service instead of how much you can make off selling more things to repeat the same process in competitive and other markets abroad.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Elshara 3 years ago
Elshara
I like this, it feels good to challenge our beliefs together even though we agree on more than we let live, fire passion, I love it.
Posted by k-chen123 3 years ago
k-chen123
I'd like to point out that this is also my first debate on debate.org.
Posted by Elshara 3 years ago
Elshara
I'm new to debate.org so I'm not familiar with the format but I wanna talk about this its important.
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