Yeah, was tired when I wrote that post, kind of lazy mood.Care to elaborate?
Yeah, was tired when I wrote that post, kind of lazy mood.
Anyways, elaborating on what I said, the following are some problems that I have identified with education.
English is a terrible course. Teachers can be extremely subjective, and what can get you a 90 in one class with one teacher can get you a 68 with another. This subjectivity creates an unclear boundary and line upon which a student should follow when utilizing different writing techniques in the future.
Secondly, Shakespeare. It's 500 or so years old. Give it up. Things change, realize it. Universities are starting to drop Shakespeare, but high schools are still holding onto it fast. I recently wrote an essay on this (for English) .
"Shakespeare. It’s a word that makes scholars giddy and students glum. His works are arguably magnificent and ground breaking for his century, and were enjoyed by many ….about 400 years ago. Now Shakespeare is a piece of literature forced upon students throughout high school. The 21st century is such a bold timeframe of change. Do we care about entertaining the scholars and abiding by tradition, or do we care about our students actually learning? Shakespeare needs to go if we want all students to have an effective education in English that they enjoy and remember.
Shakespeare is 400 or so years old, and we are still being taught it in the 21st century. Meanwhile, as the Washington Post reports, “English majors at the vast majority of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities are not now required to take an in-depth Shakespeare course…”. If some universities have completely removed Shakespeare, and others have removed a sizable portion of it, why are high schools (a lower form of education relative to university) still teaching it? As Washington Post also mentions, other things that should have some influence regarding change in the English curriculum have not changed. There are many more students of different cultures and ethnicities today and Shakespeare, being an English author, is simply not relevant or relatable. Society has changed and evolved, yet the English curriculum hasn’t. It’s stuck in a continuous loop, and that loop needs to be broken.
English has many different core concepts that need to be mastered each year. Obviously this isn’t happening, as people constantly complain that today’s students cannot write an effective essay, or compose a grammatically correct sentence. These concepts can already be complicated. Similes, metaphors, alliterations, euphemism, hyperboles, imagery…those are just literary devices- and only a few of them! In Shakespeare, of course this is all hidden behind a nice camouflage of words like carlot, boggler, near-legged, foxship, and quatch. You can use SparkNotes and the like, but it is a time consuming and exhaustive process. Many people would be capable of grasping these concepts, but fail to do so because they are floundering under a complex sea of Shakespeare’s language and other techniques not used as commonly in present day. Actually, not just floundering, drowning. Instead of taking time to analyze what each sentence actually means, we should be achieving the goals set to learn the different literary concepts. When learning to write, students are not expected to master calligraphy, they are simply taught today’s version of script. In fact, many schools have dropped writing altogether- as they feel it is outdated and not used by today’s youth. Without Shakespeare, more modern literature would be brought in, with language that is easier to comprehend. Students will be able to learn more independently and will be able to focus on plots, symbols, and moral lessons – without the aid of a “crutch” such as SparkNotes. Students would have a better chance of mastering the literacy skills that educators want them to learn.
It’s said that emotions influence our work much more than the actual task at hand- which is why passion is so important when studying English. English can be commonly misconstrued as a boring subject. Many people never read for pleasure. The solution that our educational system has devised appears to be giving them boring texts so that they can ensure that students have no passion for the literature. If we introduce literature that suits this age group in a modern day context, students will be engaged, and will actually want to read the book. This passion will allow them to not only enjoy literature, but also absorb the key concepts of the English curriculum. Again, we use computers and calculators to assist our learning, not slate boards or abacuses.
To keep or not to keep Shakespeare? The answer is to not keep it. We can either continue to disengage students, or bring in modern day literature that will engage students while teaching the core concepts of the English curriculum for each respective grade. It’s time to focus on our students learning, and take the initiative to remove Shakespeare and bring in some fresh literature."
Now, moving onto the next point that I am sure runs a parallel to the thoughts of many others.
Are We Learning What's Useful?
Education is dry. Boring. Plain. Come to class, write notes. Learn only the core subjects that we consider fundamental for society. Because everyone needs physics, chemistry, and biology. Right? Right? (No).
We need more engaging education that pertains to the stuff we will use in the future. Hands on activities need to be more prominent in classrooms.
I have been considering a potential not for profit organization that would, in theory, run one hour lessons a few times a week. These classes wouldn't just be factual. They would link learned concepts to potential future uses. They would engage our students into in-depth thinking, yet simplistic projects that would make them not just more educated, but better learners. It's something that I hope to toy around with.
Those are my two main points. If you have any specific questions, let me know.