Freedom of Education

By Bausch Koh

Childhood is commonly perceived as the best time of a person’s life, since it is when you’re supposed to have the most fun and not need to work for anything. With this in mind, children should not be spending up to 18 years in classrooms with drab, stale textbooks in the spotlight. The excessive and laborious educational process means that students are already entering adulthood at approximately 21 years of age when they graduate, having lost most of their youth. All the time invested on studying now translates into three certainties – death, taxes, and work.  

Reductions need to occur to the time spent in middle school – grades six to eight. Currently, much of the content in middle school classes prove to be repetitive, thus learning is slow-paced and students are unable to pursue new knowledge. Countless “learning activities” regurgitate ideas that are already understood, stagnating academic progress while disposing of precious time.

For starters, schools could offer an optional pre-high school program, taking between 0-2 years, depending on individual capabilities. Students with adequate knowledge that are emotionally mature enough may move on to high school, while those who require a transitional period have access to this program. Another intriguing possibility is the introduction of a break between elementary and high school. Here, students spend 1-2 years pursuing interests such as art, sports or music. By the end of elementary school, many have already developed a prowess or talent for a particular career. Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov had already been travelling around the world to compete in tournaments as a grandmaster by the time he was 13. The freedom of these “break” years may give students a taste of what it’s like to be a full-time athlete, for example, before granting them the possibility of returning to school after their exploratory trial.  

This is not a new conjecture. Harvard’s Ed magazine published an article in 2012 titled “Do Middle Schools Make Sense?”, comparing middle school programs to systems where students move directly into high school. The evidence presented indicates that the removal of middle school years links to lower dropout rates, smoother transitions into high school, and higher standardized test scores. By no means does this mean that all systems across the world should be changed instantly, but adjustments must happen over time to revamp the current structure, as organizations learn to adhere to the benefits of this new method.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a person’s development in life. We deserve the freedom to analyze our individual potential and create a path that suits us. Besides, who knows what the future might hold for aspiring minds who are currently bound to a redundant system?

 

Works Cited

  1. “Eye Time Five Before Twelve.” Pixabay, Creative Commons, Dec. 2017, pixabay.com/en/eye-time-five-before-twelve-dial-3001154/.
  2. Tamer, Mary. “Do Middle Schools Make Sense?” Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Ed. Magazine, 5 Sept. 2012, 10:15a.m., http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/ed/12/09/do-middle-schools-make-sense.
  3. “USNEI.” Structure of U.S. Education, U.S. Department of Education, 22 Feb. 2008, www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-structure-us.html.
  4. Waitzkin, Fred. “King Kasparov.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 7 Oct. 1990, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/07/magazine/king-kasparov.html.

5 thoughts on “Freedom of Education

  1. Li-Kay Teng

    Your writing style and voice throughout was so engaging, and you had everything to back up your claim. I enjoyed reading this piece a lot and found myself agreeing with your points as I read on. Nice job!!!! 🙂

  2. Staff Writer Harein V

    Very interesting points, I think that the whole idea of ‘living in the moment’ also ties into this. The article made me realize that life is not even that long and we should try to spend more time enjoying our youth (y).

  3. Robert

    Good stuff Bausch! Your points on pre-high school program is very well written and I completely agree. In Fact, I wrote about similar things as well, maybe you should check it out! 🙂

  4. Tehnish Paramiswaran

    A very interesting topic that you brought about here, I completely agree with your statement that children need break years. If this were to come to fruition would you be proud of the fact that more kids now have the potential to achieve greater success by exploring their own individual skill sets?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s