Each week I try to think of something new to add to the blog, perhaps something that hasn’t been covered by anyone else yet, but this week I have failed to do that! I found myself wanting to talk about the topic of our school system as many of my classmates have already done.
Something that today’s discussion made me think about was WHY our school system is the way it is. I especially thought about this whenever we talked about the “standard” notions every student comes out of high school with. So many of us had read common, “classic” novels throughout high school. Often times I’ve wondered just what makes a novel a “classic” (though that’s room for an entirely different discussion). More than that, however, I wondered what was the difference for those who had read different things in high school. Of course, a lot of it depended on the teachers that we had. I’m one of those people that is completely convinced that a novel has the power to change one’s way of thinking, or at least GET them to consider new ideas. I can testify to this, personally, and it kind of blows my mind to think that without a teacher’s simple choice to assign a reading, my opinions might not be what they are today. Going back to Gatto’s essay, I can kind of disagree on some points. I’m thankful for some teachers that I had in the past, because I know some of their actions led me to be the person that I am today. I went to a regular public school like most American children. Nothing was special about our school system. I like to think that I turned out okay.
Who decides what’s important for people to come out of high school knowing, anyway? I find it kind of amusing that most of us have common knowledge about different topics, some relevant to our lives presently, but others not as much. I suppose the goal is to make sure that we have information that we can use in some aspect of our lives – some will use mathematical equations as they dive into careers, while me personally, hope with all of their heart I never have to do another geometric equation after I finish my math requirement for my degree.
I believe it is all about good intentions. No one wants to see anyone fail. Our school system is designed to help people succeed, some tactics perhaps more effective than others, but well-intentioned all the same.