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Death of critical thought in our education

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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.


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11 Responses to “Death of critical thought in our education”

  1. Kacey Koch on March 8th, 2018 12:48 PM

    I found this article very interesting as it’s something that most people don’t really think about. Will seemed very passionate about this topic and it was awesome understanding that.

  2. Hannah Siegel on March 8th, 2018 12:59 PM

    I loved this article. I have almost the same opinion. School nowadays definitely focuses on tests, grades, and common core classes, often disregarding elective classes. For example, I am heavily invested in art and design but, it gets very little recognition. Yes, there are multiple art classes but when you talk about careers and main classes its rarely an option. This is the same for design, specifically graphics, there is only one class. Like I stated it isn’t a common class so it doesn’t get much attention.

  3. Dylan Trigg on March 9th, 2018 12:23 PM

    Liked how you viewed the education system. I completely agree and think students focus on such specific things when they should keep a wider view.

  4. Tony Ludwig on March 9th, 2018 12:30 PM

    I agree with this article and was happy seeing that this was chosen to write about. I enjoy that this is something you’re passionate about.

  5. Alyssa Schroeckenthaler on March 9th, 2018 12:37 PM

    I agree with this. I too have felt that all school throws at us is how to get the good grades. However, common sense stuff lacks in lots of schools. I feel like we are just trapped in a classroom not really exposed to society in the world. Getting all As does not guarantee a happy healthy life. Not having a 4.0 GPA does not mean you are a failure or you aren’t going to get into college. I think you will have a better chance surviving in this world if your street smarts are greater than your book smarts.

  6. Kara on March 9th, 2018 12:40 PM

    Great job Will! You seemed to have been very interested in this topic and that is what leads to a great opinion piece! The info was very informing and interesting.

  7. Dylan Konicek on March 12th, 2018 12:23 PM

    good length and information on the topic

  8. Alina Burmistrova on March 12th, 2018 12:41 PM

    It is really philosophical article which helps to take a thought about so important things. I can say that the author read a lot for his life and he observes what is happening around. Good job!

  9. Hannah Gibbons on March 13th, 2018 12:32 PM

    WOW! Amazing story Will! I can tell you’re very passionate about this topic. I thought you did a very good job not taking a sign during this piece…Which can be hard since it is an opinion piece. I enjoyed reading both sides.

  10. Tim on March 14th, 2018 2:22 PM

    This article brings up some good points. I believe that we have far too great a focus on standardized testing within schools. We need to focus on actually educating students and helping expand their strengths instead of trying to pull up their weaknesses and punishing them when they struggle.

  11. Yanis Williams on March 14th, 2018 2:26 PM

    I really liked this article and the new perspective you brought to the subject.

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