Changing the education game

By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO

The idea of changing education is abstract. Since the Industrial Revolution, most classrooms have been dictated in this format. We’ve been living in it for so long that it’s become the way we live.

It’s like Copernicus trying to explain that the Sun is at the center of the solar system and not the Earth.

I’m sure everyone is aware of the bullshit system we are in. Standardized testing, memorization and mathematical-based learning is simply an out-of-date way to learn for most students. 

You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, so why judge someone who struggles in math, by their ability to calculate how many watermelons Karen can buy with $10? Why not give them a test that centered around what they have an interest in or what they love?

If students love what they are learning, then they will pay more attention and learn more from the material. Time and time again we hear that kids have ADHD or ADD and that in turn makes them inattentive or impulsive. But this simply isn’t true.

I took meds for ADHD as a child going into elementary, but it changed who I was. And it was all just to do well in school. Come middle school, my mom took me off the medication claiming it made me into a zombie and it oppressed who I really was.

For most kids, the problem isn’t that they have ADHD or ADD, the problem is how they’re handled. Sure, you can shove pills down their throat, but the real problem is the education system. Once I found that my passion was writing, it became easier to focus on that and other classes.

With writing, I found my outlet where I could put my energy or where I could focus my attention on. Yet many students don’t find their outlet till later in life or they are scrutinized because their outlet or passion doesn’t fit the agenda of their parents or family. 

The only way to fix this, is to break down the school systems we have now and create new systems that are in line with specific aspects of the workforce. We already have that happening at Pima Community College, like the dental and aviation programs.

I’m talking more along the lines of high schools and middle schools. The classes that are in place are there for teaching kids to work in factory settings. But, as a society, we have grown out of this. We need students who are creative and motivated and who take interests in the arts.

Once you start to indulge students into topics they are passionate about, you get students that WANT to learn. And a student that wants to learn will succeed a lot more than a student who doesn’t.

As Sir Ken Robinson put it: “We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.”

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