Trapped Behind a Desk

Trapped Behind a Desk

Maria Devroy, Staff Writer

Sitting in math class watching numbers dance around on a screen brings up the age-old question: when will I ever use this information? It seems that the answer is simple: most of us won’t. The current education system is based solely on learning to test well, not teaching kids to love to learn, and love what they are learning. What do we learn in school that is actually applicable to our lives after we graduate?

In many European countries, the education system is exceptionally incomparable to the long-established American public school system. Most kids receive a general education until the fifth year of primary school, when they then take a test that determines what they are best at, and possibly, their profession. This way, children are able to specialize in the field they might like to go into. This makes the education European children receive while they’re young applicable to the field they go into; therefore, not wasting their time and energy learning countless studies and facts that they could possibly never use.

While the Europeans seem to have a handle on how to best educate their youth, America is further behind, with only certain ‘special’ schools making education specialized. In the immediate Kent County area, there is the Kent Career Technical Center, which provides hands-on learning and job training instead of the book work typical public schools provide. The issue with specialized schools in America is, simply put, the stigma surrounding it. The technical schools are perceived as a ‘lesser’ education, which in turn scares away kids. That might know what they want to do but won’t go to school for it because they don’t want to seem stupid, or not smart enough for classical book work.

Education is individual, or at least it should be; it should be what you want to learn, not pointless information that will be tucked away in your brain after high school never to be seen again. The subjects we study should be what we want to learn with, granted, a few key requirements provided by schools. The graduation requirements are so strict that there is hardly enough wiggle room to take the classes that you are truly invested and interested in, which defeats the point of learning. The kids who are able to spit out algebraic equations in their sleep are not always capable of writing the spectacular essay that the kid who has a C in math can.

The brain is an incredible organ, and the best part is that no two are the same. No two people will think all the same thoughts, have the same ideas or style. The school system can’t accommodate every individual, that would be impossible, but there should be an attempt made to individualize, or specialize, our educations before being shipped off to college.

We are all our own individual person, and our education should be a reflection of that rather than the mindless information we learn in our years trapped behind a desk.