School doesn’t teach students to think for themselves

Students go class to class, and in those classes they spend most of the hour memorizing bits and pieces of information for whatever test will soon be coming up. This isn’t the case with all classes; however, most are set up this way. If one is ambitious, classes don’t involve much more than a quick cram that morning or the night before.

Over the years, education seems to have declined. Classes used to be more thought-provoking, and AP used to actually mean Advanced Placement. Nowadays it doesn’t take much to pass high school. They say the real challenge is in college; however, the classes we’ve had so far really aren’t that difficult.

Education used be held at a higher standard. There was a time students didn’t have to worry about working outside of school because their parents actually supported them. Or maybe these students actually knew how to balance their time or had less to be balanced.

This decline has occurred because of the decline in thinking. Each generation is required to think less and less due to the increase of the availability Internet. Many educated and uneducated people post their opinions on this useful tool. However, many students in turn share the opinions of others nowadays rather than forming their own. Sadly, many students also don’t form their own opinions until college when they are away from their parental figures and cannot simply reiterate these adults’ thoughts.

The idea of having in-depth conversations scares many people. Most students can only handle small talk, and even that can be a stretch for some. The school system has shown an obvious decline in class discussions.

There are a select few classes that encourage discussions, even if they are about odd or controversial topics. At least the students are thinking. They are using their brains and speaking their own thoughts. We congratulate these teachers. However, most teachers simply repeat information from their handy dandy textbooks.

Students don’t really learn that way. All they’re learning in class is how to repeat the “right answers,” but the real world doesn’t have these clear-cut “right answers.” Everyone has to learn to think for themselves.

Sadly, most students don’t realize many things until college. Some students have experiences where they learn about the “real world.” However, what I want to know is why high school isn’t preparing us for the challenges we’re going to have to face? Why aren’t we discussing “hot topics” like mature people? This would mean that we respect others’ opinions and don’t lash out because the other is “wrong.”

John Adams and John Dickinson are prime examples of this (by the way, those were two people in the original Congress). Adams and Dickinson were on the opposite ends of the spectrum of whether America should declare independence from England. However, they respected each other’s ideas of a perfect America. Even when Dickinson didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence, Adams was the first to show him respect.

We know all the teachers in the school won’t suddenly start having discussions every day. We understand there are standards that have to be met in each class. However, we believe some of those standards can be met through discussion. Even if one teacher took a few minutes to allow the class to have an actual, in-depth discussion, it would be progress.