August 05, 2004

"Education and the lies within"

"Education and the lies within"

I would agree. I have read study after study that indicates changing
the motivational factors behind learning tend to lead to an overall
increase in learning. But then again, nobody actually pays attention
to that, thinking that it's better if we increase the number of tests
in our school systems... and to stress the ever-consuming importance
of the great and powerful test.

It's saddening, and sickening.

And it's completely overrated. I work with doctors now in a hospital
and I constantly see them referring to manuals, dictionaries,
guidebooks, encyclopedias, journals, the internet... etc. etc. etc...

Nobody ever expects them to remember every thing they were ever
taught. Yes, yes it is important for them to try and retain as much
as they can, but it isn't against the practice to pick up a manual and
refresh yourself.

And therein lies a tremendous problem... When I was in school, they
always gave you the impression that you had to do good on the tests...
you always studied for the tests... you always worked to get the
highest GPA on the tests... the tests were weighted the heaviest.

Another reason why I hated high school - because I became aware of
this problem early on.

I will admit that sure, if we took the pressure off of tests, some
people would only slack off more... but you know what... you just find
another way to reach them. Or you let them fail. I can't say I
necessarily support that, but at the same time, if someone wants to
continuously take for granted opportunities, then the only way they
are going to realize their mistake is to feel its consequences.

As for those that would benefit... I would say they would learn more.
Tests are supposed to be a way for teachers to gauge how much they
have taught their students... not a way for them to ostrecize the
dumb, pushing them further into the background and making them feel

One reason why I liked college so much was that the concepts of tests
was different. It wasn't tremendously different, but there were
definitely differing concepts and levels of importance were more
appropriate. Many of my classes wanted you to focus on a final
project or two... the idea behind that being that all of the knowledge
you will acquire will more than likely be used at one point for
something big in your life. But they didn't limit you to only the
things you could remember. You had free access to everything that
could help you along. All you had to do was put the time and effort
into deciphering the knowledge and making it work.

I look forward to graduate school because tests start to fade more and
more away... and in it's place are thesis projects and dissertations.
Yeah, they may be more expansive... but that's when you really learn
to think and not just regurgitate some knowledge.

I think high school seriously needs reform. (Especially Bethel). I
came away from it with good friendships and bonds... but if I hadn't
taken it upon myself to pretty much systematically ignore the basic
doctrines of that school, I would probably be at "Jack in the Box"
right now seeking a career. (Just as a note, I don't look down on
people who work there or anywhere else when they are using it as a
stepping stone toward a greater potential). Not everyone can
automatically do that... I was probably only able to do it because I
was an often dissatisfied-with-my-current-situation type of person.


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