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A Misleading System

“A third of working graduates took jobs as cleaners, office juniors and road sweepers six months after leaving university, according to new figures” (Espinoza, 2015). This is the unfortunate reality among many recent university graduates. For many years people have been trying to find the root cause as to why does it get harder for […]

“A third of working graduates took jobs as cleaners, office juniors and road sweepers six months after leaving university, according to new figures” (Espinoza, 2015). This is the unfortunate reality among many recent university graduates. For many years people have been trying to find the root cause as to why does it get harder for university graduates to find a job. The root cause of this problem does not originate within the graduates, but it originates within our current education system. Our education system limits creativity, does not give students a freedom of choice, and it promotes closed minded thinking.

As each year passes by, many companies look for employees who already have acquired the skills, which they want their employees to have and they expect their employees to learn new skills as society changes (Selingo, 2017). The initial change with the high expectations of these companies is due to technology. Technology enables us to perform tasks at a faster rate, now that people can work on complex tasks/projects through their ipads and smartphones, allowing them to work at any place in the world (Slattery, 2015). Many businesses are also redesigning their business models to be more compatible with our current day consumer technologies, which are constantly changing (Slattery, 2015). One major component that needs to be learned by our recent graduates is creativity. By learning this skill they would find it easier to meet the standards of many present day companies and to secure a job position. But how can this skill be developed when many people don’t even get the chance to develop their creativity? The answer lies in how our current education system is structured and what is teaches to us at a early age.

The education system limits creativity, but what is creativity? Creativity is acknowledging the obstacles that you may face/encounter in a problem and finding ways to overcome them (Morr, 2018). The standardized tests that many students take is one of the main reasons how the education system limits creativity, among students, since teachers only teach students how to take a test instead of teaching them to also look at the questions that they got wrong or different ways to think outside the box (Cox, 2018). A good way to fix this problem is if students are taught to look at every answer option that they encounter, during a test, and to fully comprehend what each answer choice means and in what sort of question would that answer be used for. For other subjects, like math, teachers and students can think of different methods/ways to solve problems. This would develop the students creativity since they are now receiving the training of how to encounter obstacles, of problems that they can’t solve. Many companies these days are also looking for employers, who have innovative minds and find a solution around many of the obstacles that they encounter (Giang, 2013).

The education system also limits a students freedom of choice. In Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk about education he mentions how the educational system has a hierarchy of subjects placed among students. “Every education system on Earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. … At the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and at the bottom are the arts” (Sir Ken Robinson, 2006). With a limited freedom of choice students are discouraged to choose to do what they want, which puts a strain in their ability to make decisions on their own.  Many people believe being a lawyer, engineer, doctor, etc. is the ideal path to a successful life which is why subjects such as mathematics or biology are given a higher status. The arts and choir are given a lower priority. The system fails to realize that the acting and music industries allow people to earn the same amounts of money and success as of a doctor or economist. If the system gave equal priority to these subjects, individuals would have the confidence to do things on their own, thus encouraging many of them to take risks which is the type of people employers are looking to hire (Richmond, 2018). Also, people who pursue careers in the subjects they are passionate about are most likely to project creativity into their work.

Our education system also promotes closed minded thinking with how it is structured. Closed minded thinking is the idea that someone who thinks he/she is right and nothing can go against his/her way of thinking (Chou). The traditional education system focuses on teaching, not learning and learning essentially means that every student in the class has retained the information and understands the concepts that they are taught (“’The Objective”, 2008). The school systems ideology is if a teacher teaches any piece of information to his/her student that means they automatically understood the information that was being taught to them (“’The Objective”, 2008). Even today there are protests that are currently going on in Los Angeles where teachers are protesting to the school administration to lower down class sizes, which were approximately forty-two students per class. The teachers have started this protest since it is difficult for them to teach a huge group of students (Kaufman, 2019). If this type of teaching continues throughout many schools, it would get many students into a mindset that they just have to listen to the lecturer/teacher and retain information, that they would instantly forget, instead of understanding or learning it (Vermeulen, 2017). With a large classroom size a teacher does not get to show all the students in the classroom different ways to solve a problem, instead he/she is expected to deliver a lecture to his/her students and expect them all to understand the concept, without any further assistance. This then gets a individual to follow a fixed mindset to always listen to the person above you and to not give your input on how to learn/do things differently. A possible solution for this is to lower down class sizes which would give time for a teacher to engage with his/her students and that would give them the opportunity to ask more effective questions and to find different ways to do certain tasks/assignments. A teacher would also be able to spend more time with his/her students to develop the trait of open-mindedness if classroom sizes become smaller. Open mindedness is also the most valued employee traits that companies want to hire since they want an employee who can easy change his/her way of thinking based of the environment the employee is placed in (Kokemuller, 2017).

Although I have mentioned many reasons as to why the education system is not good, there are some people who believe it is effective. The education system is effective since  it puts an emphasis on a variety of subjects and free for anyone to use (Baeder, 2012). This article further goes on to fact that the education system also helps the disabled and prevents students from committing suicide (Baeder,2012). Although this author’s point might be a true representation for some schools around the world, the unfortunate reality is that majority of the schools, around the world don’t focus on providing their students these options to choose what they want to do or to make sure that they perform well in school.  Mostly all of the educational institutions, around the world, do have a hierarchy of subjects (Sir Ken Robinson, 2006). This puts pressure on a student to choose the higher level subjects that are given more value to in school, this then causes the student to follow their passion. Mentally disabled students are not treated respectfully in school. Many mentally disabled students are not placed in separate classrooms with a teacher who has a degree to manage mentally disabled students and are expected to act like their peers during class (Schwartz, 2018). While most school systems do identify a student with a mental disability, there is a whole different story on how much importance is given to them. If the learning needs of the mentally disabled are not met they would not be learning information to their full potential, which would make school harder for them to do. It’s important for the education system to focus on each individual student and to customize learning in a way where students can develop effective life skills and can effectively retain the information they are taught.

It is important for a change in the education system to be made since there are many skills that need to be taught to the young generation of society. The system needs to start teaching creativity among students since that would encourage students to develop strategies to overcome obstacles. Students also need to be given a freedom of choice of what subject they want to choose so they study a subject that they are passionate about, this would make the learning for the student for enjoyable and would encourage them to try new thing and to take risks. The educational system also need to be restructured with the overall concept of teachers given long lectures to students. This promotes a closed mindset of thinking among students that they always have to take instructions from a higher authority, without expressing their thoughts. Although teachers do have sufficient knowledge in a subject, they should give students an opportunity for students to be in that same role to give them an opportunity to express their own thoughts/ideas.

Works Cited

Baeder, Justin. “Why U.S. Schools Are Simply the Best.” Education Week – Rules for Engagement, 23 Oct. 2012, blogs.edweek.org/edweek/on_performance/2012/10/why_us_schools_are_simply_the_be st.html.

Chou, Will. “The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People.” The #1 Asian American Men’s Blog, The #1 Asian American Personal-Development Blog, 27 Sept.  2018, willyoulaugh.com/open-minded/.  

Cox, Abigail. “The Current Education System Is Failing Our Students.” EdSurge Independent, EdSurge Independent, 9 Mar. 2018, edsurgeindependent.com/the-current-education-system-is-failing-our-students-b3561494 3541.        

Espinoza, Javier. “Thousands of New Graduates out of Work, Figures Show.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 25 June 2015, www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/11699095/Thousands-of-new-graduates- out-of-work-figures-show.html.

Giang, Vivian. “Our Education System Is Killing Creativity.” Business Insider, Business Insider,      24 Jan. 2013

This article published by Business Insider talks about how current employers look for innovation among many people. It then explains some of the causes as to why many people today are unable to find a job; and that is because the education system does not promote innovative thinking and creativity among students. It then explains how businesses are looking for these skills in employees, and that’s how they get hired. This is a credible source since it is published by a wide range of editors from America, Europe, and China. Business Insider is also one of the leading news channels to get the latest updates and trends about the economy and business trends. I can use this in my argumentative essay to support my point of how creative and innovative thinking can correlates to how a individual’s chance of getting a job gets higher.

Kaufman, Rachel. “Demands of Striking L.A. Teachers Include Smaller Class Sizes, Accountability for Charters.” Next City, 14 Jan. 2019, nextcity.org/daily/entry/striking-la-teachers-demands-include-smaller-class-sizes-account ability.

Kokemuller, Neil. “Is It Important to Be Open Minded in the Workplace?” Chron.com, 21 Nov. 2017, work.chron.com/important-open-minded-workplace-6124.html.

Morr, Kelly. “What Is Creativity? The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Today’s Most Important       Ability.” 99designs, 99designs, 10 Dec. 2018, 99designs.com/blog/creative-thinking/what-is-creativity/.  

“’The Objective of Education Is Learning, Not Teaching’.” [email protected], Global Focus North America, 20 Aug. 2008, knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/the-objective-of-education-is-learning-not-teaching/.

This article talks about how the education system encourages students to memorize information, instead of learning it. It suggests a change should be made based on how students are taught to learn information. The article suggests that students should try to comprehend class information themselves and they should be explaining to teachers what they learn. The University of Pennsylvania is a well known school and is a ivy league school, which are one of the high end university. This verifies the credibility of my source since I am getting it from a well known University that is known to teach its students to write high academic articles/papers. I will use this article in my research to support my claim on how the education system promotes closed minded thinking and how these are one of the skills that employers don’t want their employees to have.

Richmond, Jason. “Why Risk-Takers Make the Best Employees.” Business.com, Apr. 2018, 11, www.business.com/articles/hire-risk-takers/.

Robinson, Ken. “Transcript of ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?”.” Ted, Ted, 2006, www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity/transcript?referrer=playlist-the_most_popular_talks_of_all#t-811149.

This TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson talks about how creativity is not taught in the education system. He first starts off by saying that “teamwork, innovation, and storytelling” are all components of creativity that need to be taught throughout many schools. He then mentions how these skills can not be taught due to the fact that there is a hierarchy of subjects in almost every education system in the world, which discourages a student to choose to study a subject that they are interested in. This is a trustable source since it is published by TED, which is a worldwide organization that publishes many talks whose topics are thought provoking and encourage you to think in a different manner. Sir Ken Robinson himself has also published many books himself, on the topic of education, and is a university professor at the University of Warwick. This source will fit perfectly in my article when I talk about how the education system promotes/teaches closed minded thinking. I feel like this talk is primarily based on Sir Ken Robinson’s experience on he viewed education and how our current society is changing and advancing by the moment.

Schwartz, Allan. “Abuse of Special Needs Children in Our Public Schools.” Mental Help Early Childhood Cognitive Development Language Development Comments, 2018, www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/abuse-of-special-needs-children-in-our-public-schools/.

Selingo, Jeffrey J. “Why Getting a Good Job Is so Much Harder for Today’s College Graduates.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 10 Mar. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/03/10/why-getting-a-good-job-is-so-much-harder-for-todays-college-graduates/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4e1f2443caac.  

Slattery, Avanade Mick. “How Consumer Technology Is Remaking the Workplace.” Wired, Conde Nast, 7 Aug. 2015, www.wired.com/insights/2013/03/how-consumer-technology-is-remaking-the-workplace/.   

Vermeulen, Erik P.M. “Does Education ‘Kill’ Creativity? – Hacker Noon.” Hacker Noon, Hacker Noon, 1 Oct. 2017, hackernoon.com/does-education-kill-creativity-f3178540f5e3. https://hackernoon.com/does-education-kill-creativity-f3178540f5e3

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