Death of critical thought in our education


The Mirror reporter

In the modern era, we’ve become devoted to careers and how to best make a living. This obsession has become a vital part of the way our society operates and how we live, and there’s no more prominent proof of this than the American education system. Here at SPASH, it’s no secret that our school’s primary focus is to put us on a path to a career, and anything else is on the sidelines.

Now, what’s wrong with this? Several things. We have created a society that is more and more numb to culture and society, as we are more focused on perfecting our test scores and getting those straight A’s. We don’t have an appreciation for strength in particular skills, someone who may be an ace in writing and reading may fall by the wayside because math is a struggle to them.  This concept of the well-rounded student is harmful to a student’s ability to excel in particular areas.

In the struggle to push students into jobs, our schools have started to cut classes and majors such as English, sociology, and history, deciding to focus heavily on STEM. The common argument is the aforementioned studies don’t have any ‘“realistic applications” while STEM does, but I’d argue otherwise.

People have become so numb to events taking place and problems arising any sociologist can see are critical to approach. People scoff at anthropologists and philosophy majors because those skills “just aren’t practical.” They couldn’t be any further from the truth. Sure, a philosophy degree may not get you right into a career so you can maintain a middle-class lifestyle, but the lessons taught are vital to our ability to perceive the world.      

How our education places us on a straight path to the nine to five isn’t just indicative of the failures of our school system but the failures of our society. More and more high schoolers and grown adults alike are increasingly unhappy with their lives and the world around them.  This rise in unhappiness can be attributed to this focus on work over personal growth. We’re expected to dedicate our entire livelihoods for grades on a paper. At the most important time in our growth, when we truly become our own people, we’re expected to forsake that to keep up with everyone else.

Creativity, ingenuity, and problem solving have been banished for test taking and looking good on paper. Any high schooler can likely remember a time where they had to take a yearly monotonous test. These tests never measured any of the aforementioned skills, but rather in the ability to be “well-rounded”. We focus so much on the ability to be “good at everything” that we aren’t prepared to enter a real world where you need to be able to think or approach problems from new perspectives. This inability reflects in the world we live in today.

In closing, our education system has created a situation where we are unprepared to think and examine, but rather memorize and rewrite. We’re losing our ability to think creatively and critically, as it’s beaten out of us to make more space for testing. And if we continue on this path, we could see an unrecognizable dystopia.