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Are We Really Learning?

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Are We Really Learning?

Nikola Kubacka

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School. Seven hours, five days a week for 12 years. Most kids know the drill, go to school come home do homework repeat. Year after year we do this same cycle, but how many of us have actually asked ourselves are we really learning?

Learning and education are definitely important in anyone’s life, whether that person is a little child or someone whose been out of school for years. There is always something new to learn, but let’s be honest school is not really helping with that. Yes schooling is important but has anyone stopped to consider to think maybe our education system isn’t the best? Students are stressed, anxious and will risk getting into trouble just to get a better grade on a test. In my opinion at this point school is just about passing. I am more worried about getting a good grade on a test than actually retaining the information, and that goes for many people. If you ask any student, chances are they won’t remember what they studied a day before.

So I asked a couple of students this exact question: Are we actually learning in school? The responses to this question were varied with one student saying that yes we do in fact learn, we learn social skills, we have homework to teach responsibility, and extracurriculars. This same student however also believes we can do better by changing things like making the whole curriculum more flexible. Why should students who are bad at math be forced to take it for multiple years and stress out about it when they have other strong suits. As students, we should be able to have more flexibility in choosing what we study and learn about instead of being forced to take classes that we won’t remember anything about in a month. Another student answered this question by saying that it depends on the teacher and the student. Some students simply don’t want to learn and pass classes by the skin of their teeth, and some teachers just hand out packets and base the grades on that. While there was a few students who agreed that yes we do learn there were even more who disagree. Many students said that we learn how to follow instructions and memorize but not much else, while others said that we learn outside of school and on our own time more than we do in school. So while the first couple of years of learning basics in elementary school such as reading and writing are critical, the next couple in high school where we take classes such as gym and English are just a burden. Another student wrote that we should get rid of standardized testing, which I think many people would agree with. Each student has to take the same exact test in the same years but why are our tests equal when our students are not?

So how do we fix our education? Many people will say don’t fix what’s not broken, but there is so many things we can do to help future generations of kids. Finland has one of the best education systems in the world and their main model is less stress, more relaxed classes and no homework. So instead of stressing our students out with useless classes, we should give our students a chance to explore what they like and prepare them for the future world. It’s my opinion that the education system should change but not everyone may feel that way, so what do you think?

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