In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The New School.”
BEGIN TRANSMISSION (I actually left this out during the first publishing. The shame!)
I guess we’re doing another one of these Daily Post prompts again. I didn’t do the one yesterday because I didn’t feel like it and I thought the prompt was poop. That’s not true, I just wasn’t feeling it like I am with this one. With THIS prompt I can unleash my mass conjecture in the hopes that spilling my guts out now will help later when I decide to actually take these ideas into the real world to be read by REAL PEOPLE.
None of you reading this are real. You’re all just in my imagination.
But have fun anyway~
Title: The New School
Prompt: “You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?”
So this is a whole can of worms in and of itself. I hated so much of my pre-college school career but I think I’ve done a decent job reigning in my dislike and tempering it with actual ideas instead of just passionate hatred. We shall see.
So firstly, school needs to expand outside of just being a school. That is to say, it needs to become less of a place to be taught things and more of a place to learn things. Starting with the teachers, they should be people judged by the quality of their personage as well as their education. There are plenty of teachers with good education and training but they lack the personality to interact with children or the initiative to stimulate their minds. Teachers are, in our ever-faster world (another gripe of mine), are becoming the source for more and more guidance and information in children’s lives.
From now on, when I mention “school,” assume I’m talking about Kindergarten through High School.
So, teachers must be mentors and, in a way, parents as well as simple educators. As a young man who firmly does not fit in with what could be considered Millennial pop culture, I can see that traits such as narcissism, self-entitlement, hedonism, apathy, nepotism, cynicism, and egotism have gripped a shockingly high number of the youth of my age. I reason this to be because a certain level of self-awareness must come when one is not only educated but after one has internalized said education and looked critically at themselves.
I know it’s highly controversial for me as a young person to say this, but I don’t think people should ever turn to drugs, alcohol, or any kind of forced escape from reality because yes, reality is hard to deal with and the weight of our lives is heavy indeed, but if we hide from it, we only do extreme disservices to ourselves and the world at large. We play into the hands of those who would milk our money and time from us like cows and we hide from problems rampant in life that we all seem doomed to repeat.
Speaking of which, back on the subject of, you know, SCHOOL, History should be MUCH more emphasized. What’s the use of teaching a child business and government if they don’t know how many times both of those subjects have utterly skullfrucked our species and planet in the past when they were poorly controlled?
History is important to make us better PEOPLE. Sure, English and science and math all helps us become better students, but we need to look at the past to know where we’re going as PEOPLE.
In other words, schools should cultivate a kind of reputation of reverence, of secular spiritualism where students can expand their minds intellectually but also socially, culturally, inwardly, and outwardly. Punishments should be used very sparingly. Instead, the two (or more) students having issues with each other should be sat down and allowed (with gentle reinforcement so they don’t just stop caring as children are wont to do) to work out their problems. Or at least talk them out so there’s tangible evidence behind each and every issue- as there always is. There’s never just “good” and “evil” to a situation. The truth will always lay somewhere in-between.
Another good lesson to be taught in history, early and often. And again and again until we stop pigeonholing people into a freakish moral monochrome.
The quicker our youth figure that out, the quicker they’ll stop listening to the older folks who tell them to be arsehats to other people “just because they’re different.” Or even worse, they’ll learn to think morally and intelligently for themselves without anybody telling them what to do or what not to do.
Hey, that’d be a fun final exam in High School. An entire day run completely by the students to see if they can control themselves and have worked up the strength of character necessary to live in a world that will feel each and every one of their decisions, even in some small (Butterfly Effect) way. But the teachers shouldn’t tell them it’d be happening, though. Otherwise they’d just behave for the grade.
Oh and to hell with standardized tests. John Oliver will tell you about that better than I ever could care to.
And more time for recess and the arts. Again, this comes from expanding the consciousness and creativity of a person beyond themselves and yet deeply inside themselves at the same time in order to give a more comprehensive understanding of the world and all of its intricacies outside of facts and figures.
This may just be the remnants of my hatred of math talking here, but when it’s abundantly clear that we will NOT be using Calculus in our normal lives, that we shouldn’t waste our time on it.
I take issue with the grading scale and the way that the classes are so sectioned out and yet I don’t feel as though I’m educated enough in those subjects to propose any real suggestions that could hold water. Except for maybe your classes should be re-arranged every once in a while or even daily. So your English class is at 9:00AM one day and then 1:30PM the next day.
And make High School start later! That crap was crazy!
Okay, I’m done now.
THE OTHER ENTRIES
I wonder why people would ever listen to me on matters such as this. Or rather, I WOULD if anybody ever has in the past. I’m just 22 years old, after all, and know nothing about life according to those with any real say in the world. I guess I’ve just been in a very realistic dream for the last 22 years and haven’t learned a gosh-darn thing.
There are good old/middle-aged/young people too! They just are being very quiet nowadays. Not a good climate for rational, deviant thought.
<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-new-school/">The New School</a>
Good luck, you brave writer (and thinker) folk!