The American Education System: Jumping through Hoops


Courtesy of BC Campus Education

By Ayman Mirkhan

A life without school. Many people honestly can’t fathom a future without it. For goodness sake, we mold children from the age of five at minimum to go to a place more than they go to our their own homes and follow the same routine for 12 years. However, there comes a time where we learn our hoop-jumping routine doesn’t pay the bills in the real world.

Human society has progressed and intensely modified its inventions throughout time to become as efficient as we can be.

Buggies that were operated by horses turned into mustangs measured in horsepower, candles lit by a dying flame turned into bright, shining light bulbs surged with electricity. Just as Charles Darwin said it, the species who is most adaptable to change are the ones who will  survive in this world.

However, when we compare the education system of today to a century ago, what has changed? Though we may add different extensions and new facilities, the basic layout of schooling has never changed.

This is extremely terrifying as one of the most important skills in life, the ability to process and understand knowledge, has not adapted once in hundreds of years. The setting of classrooms, the process of memorization and test taking, the generic lessons taught to all students, they’re all the same. But compared to the past, the skills needed to be successful in this world are completely different.

It starts with the demographics of the country. Going back a 100 years, the United States was at the end of the Second Industrial Revolution with the figures like Rockefeller and Carnegie making their footprints decades earlier. The nation was in a market of manufacturing and jobs like factory work and coal mining were all the norm.

Obvious as it may seem, education was not needed for those types of careers and basic lessons were taught to kids give them a sufficient amount of knowledge to progress in this world. It was times like these where hoop-jumping education was okay as the development of critical and unique thinking was not in demand as much as it is now.

Jumping back into today, the story is slightly different. We are now coming into the middle of a service based economy where American manufacturing industries are slowly dying due to the shift in labor to foreign workers. So, in order to have more service-based careers, education is encouraged tremendously since it’s the largest percentage for success in this type of workforce of today.

But the truth is we still have those education structures of the where education was not as crucial as it is today. The methods of teaching a topic and testing to see if one retained that information is not learning. Learning is the application of a taught lesson.

Not only is the way education is taught have much fault, but the psychological brainwashing we enforce on the people of tomorrow is even worse.

Instead of college education being seen as the life investment as it should be, education after high school is viewed as requirement in order to succeed in life. This false mentality takes away the value of schooling and only has people focus on being successful in the school system, not in real life.

If it be asking the teacher if a certain topic will be on the test or copying answers from a friend, we’ve created a mentality that only the points matter and ironically push the priority of learning the topic to the back of our minds.

However, in order to follow the progression of the nation, our school systems must change. The revolutionary surge of competency learning has its strength and weaknesses, but is a great start in the right direction to teaching kids skills they need.

Having learning revolve around the student and allowing their passion take over their learning to the point that it evolves into a career is the education we need. However, in order for this change to happen, we can’t just stay silent.

Educators and students alike need to realize this endless cycle of incorrect teaching that is taking the meaning away from education and in order to truly become successful in this world, we need to redefine what learning means to us.