Why the Education Systems Fails Us

School shouldn’t be a place where kids focus on one subject or passion that they will pursue for the rest of their life, but a place where kids can be exposed to things they might not have considered otherwise.

Currently, high schools act as funnels, forcing students to select an area of interest for college. But education should mean something else. High school should be a medium for students to explore their interests, not finalize on a certain subject.

As opposed to the way people go into high school and then find an area they want to focus on, it should work the opposite way. Instead of helping students focus on a specific subject, high school should allow for and encourage students to explore different topics.

If schools teach skills that are applicable to all subjects and higher education in general, students will not be stuck with the knowledge that is only helpful to a certain subject that they will then forget. I believe that an emphasis should be placed on building proficiency in learning how to learn and discover new topics of interest. Learning facts and information is undoubtedly important, however, learning how to apply them further and think critically about them is paramount. For example, knowing lots of information is of no use if you cannot communicate.

Communication in the form of writing is not limited to English class but is a valuable skill that is advantageous to be adept in, both written and verbal. But not only should schools push for skills that transcend the boundaries of the individual classroom, but they should also promote getting outside of your comfort zones as keeping an open mindset about what you enjoy is more important than selecting something that you like and forming a myopic view of the possibilities. But the issue may not reside in the school itself, but the mindset of students.

To say that the East Grand Rapids Public School system does not allow for such growth would be an unjust condemnation. EGRPS is an incredibly fortunate public school that has many resources and a supportive community behind it, with extensive class options and extracurricular activities. For example, I had generally been much more enthusiastic about STEM through middle school and freshman year and was essentially uninterested, or at least indifferent when it came to civics. However this year I decided to do We the People and discovered a new interest.

This solidified my belief that high school’s intent should be to help students build experience in a vast array of subjects that work together holistically.

This article appeared in the February edition of The East Vision.