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Why Do We Do School? Essay

2593 words - 11 pages

To understand the problems of the educational system, we must first understand how society defines society. “Education the process by which a society transmits knowledge, values, and expectations to its members so they can function in society.” (Ferris & Stein, 2010) Education is theoretically a process for the members of society to remain aware of what is going on in the world around them. In society, education is used to pass down generations of information. It also provides a person with basic knowledge about the rules and regulations of society; we also learn what happens when we break those rules. Sadly, this is not reality. Education today is faced with a plethora of problems.

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” (Kohn, 1992)
It has been proven that humans are not competitive by nature. In fact, our ancestors practiced much cooperation to survive through harsh times. So why do we continue to push these principles on our children? I feel that parents have a lot to do with the problem. They want the best for their children, and to be the best, their children must defeat everyone else. This theory of competition has led to schools full of hierarchy. The students who do not begin their educational career possessing the qualities that their counterparts have are pushed down. As the years go by, teachers subconsciously give special attention to the “higher-abled” students, and the others are left behind. This self-fulfilling prophecy feeds into the inconsistent education system. However, no one ever blames the system; they blame the school and community.

The other day, I watched a video, “Waiting for Superman,” (Take Part, 2010) that touched on many of the topics that were illustrated in class. One thing that stood out to me was the debate between failing schools and failing communities. It was previously believed that failing communities were to blame for failing schools. However, I am convinced that it is the other way around. Failing schools sustain failing communities. When the educational system gives up on a child, they have limited options. Students return to their communities where they become statistics. The American society pressures students to become successful and when a child does not possess the “appropriate” means, they construct their own. Now we have drug dealers and prostitutes in these communities trying to achieve the American dream through different means, leading to ignorance and violence in the community, a never ending loop.

The second part of the false narrative is exceptionalism. Apparently, American society has a dire need to be better than every other country. When we lose our spot as number one in the world, it is an antecedent to disaster. In the publication of A Nation at Risk (The National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983), we find a fine example of how American ideologies cause great strife in our children’s education. A Nation at Risk was a report that surfaced shortly after the launch of Sputnik. In 1957, the Soviet Union became the first country to successfully launch an artificial satellite into Earth’s orbit. The announcement of the groundbreaking event became a crisis in the eyes of the American people. The launch of Sputnik instigated part of the Cold War called Space Race. In addition to the fierce tensions and battles the launch of Sputnik caused, in 1983, the board of education published A Nation at Risk. This publication has proven to be a momentous occurrence in the history of American education. A Nation at Risk played on America’s fear of losing its position as number one. The repost basically said that we were at risk of losing security, freedom, and essentially everything that makes...

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