12 June 2009

We Fail at Education

Although it is the most important test in a high school student's life, the SAT and education in America is seriously flawed. Students are trained from birth to do well on standardized tests such as the SAT and do not even get to be children anymore. With the creation of products to give your son or daughter a head start over other 2 year olds, children lose the most important aspect of their youth; their childhood. The other day I saw an infomercial on TV that advertised a product that promised to teach your 16 month old baby how to read. What does a 16 month old baby need to read for?!? So great your child can read a few years before other children, but at what cost? Parents and America as a whole, are so obsessed with getting their children into college, that from birth they take away the fun of being a baby and most of the experiences that come with it. As humans, we learn more from experience than we ever will from a book or classroom, and replacing childhood experiences with activities to improve test scores only hurts future generations. I once heard that no one truly knows the danger of fire until he burns himself; childhood is a time to "burn ourselves" so to speak, and learn many of the basics of life that a classroom can never teach us. It is a chance to explore and experience the world through a set of young eyes that we will never have again. We gain perceptions of the world that influence our future lives, and childhood is the only time that we can live without the burden of responsibility. Anyone who tries to replace this monumental period of human development with book learning only hinders our growth. As children we did many things that we would never imagine doing as adults, such as playing in the mud or even eating worms, and we learn from the consequences of these actions. (For example, worms taste bad.) We learn right from wrong as kids and being able to read at 16 months will not help teach us to share our toys. Thus the SAT, the pinnacle of American education, corrupts children from birth, taking away the fun of life. How can a 5 year old child have fun writing on the walls when he/she is learning from a book instead?

The same is true for teenagers. The teen years, which are often a time to discover who we are and what kind of people we want to be, are being replaced with years of SAT classes so that we can score higher for America's Ohh so amazing education system. With all of the advanced classes and tests that are necessary to succeed in this system, there is barely enough time for high school students to sleep, let alone find their identities. As a result, we have a generation of teens that will grow up without knowing what makes their heart beat, lacking true happiness. Education is meant to improve our lives, not make life meaningless, as is occurring.

By: Basil ace


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