Illustration by Laura Cai

School system outdated: must reform

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The high school teaching structure has remained the same for a long time. This is harmful, as the state of current instructional learning has failed students by limiting the different styles of learning needed for students to excel. Therefore, the school system must change. 

The school composition is stressful because of the immense pressure put on students to stand out in college applications. To appear more competitive to colleges, students are likely to participate in extracurricular activities while taking challenging courses. This may show students’ stellar achievements, but the greater workload takes a mental toll. Because of the burnout and stress, it is possible students perform poorly in classes and extracurriculars, further damaging their mental stability because of feelings of incompetence. Failing students get stressed by not being able to comprehend it well, so schools need to implement new teaching styles.

Students have been taught in a standardized way, where they all ideally leave with the same knowledge. However, this is inefficient because every student learns in a different way so they will not end up knowing the same information. Some learn better through visual, kinesthetic, or auditory learning. Also, the education system aspires for students to harness thinking skills rather than the development of skills like creativity. Being creative at a young age is important, as it will teach them to think of solutions from different perspectives and can nurture other skills like critical analysis and collaboration. The school system must know how to cater these various learning styles and skills.

In the current system, students are left unprepared for the workforce because of the big emphasis in exams. High schools prioritize core classes over ones that teach students skills that are fundamental in their future. Work skills learned should focus on the process of getting a job such as filling job applications or knowing how to answer interview questions. It is crucial to know these skills so students enter adulthood developed. By neglecting real-world learning, education focusing on issues outside the classroom, the school is compromising students’ future. 

Admittedly, the structure of the education system is comfortable, as one knows what to expect. Maintaining the school’s system prevents risks from changing. For example, it could make students more disengaged as the schools will not rely on standardized instruction and become more open to the students’ needs. Additionally, it will disregard a teacher’s professional education by limiting the professional judgement, experience, and skill of a teacher. However, the various kinds of learning will be implemented in the school system where they receive both education and skills. Additionally, students must learn to adapt to new situations to nourish their learning. Leaving them in a system that does not foster creativity, does not teach valuable life skills, and damages mental health can potentially set them up for failure.

To tackle this matter, the school needs to offer more programs and implement different teaching styles that involve collaboration and teaching skills like taxes or mortgage. To encourage these school programs, the school should promote them with posters, assemblies, and homeroom videos. Through the school programs, students are gaining real-world knowledge while improving their abilities. 

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