Why do we go to school?

Christian Chavez (@sonofsaul) 10 years, 4 months ago

So I want to find out from this community why they think it is we spend the first 18 to 24 years of our lives in school. Essentially, I want to see what you guys feel about learning, why we learn, and what we should learn. Do you guys think we learn so we can be successful at a career? Should what we learn in school be useful and applicable to our daily lives? If you really want to get into it, when should we learn specific things (age)? What should we be taught and for what reasons? etc. Thanks guys, you HEthens are the best.

May 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm
Em (473) (@emily) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

@sonofsaul, I think we go to school just to have ourselves chasing our tails long enough until we’re old enough to work for the system. I love that you question the current educational system. https://www.highexistence.com/topic/should-we-gut-the-educational-system/

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creds (36) (@creds) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

Hey! I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately as well. The further I get in my psychology the more I understand the importance of schooling. And no, I’m not taking about “knowledge make you smart”- arguments. Those arguments are only viable to those that actually consider knowledge valuable. There are, however, a bunch of other reasons I believe we go to school for.

1. Society level: We go to school to fit in to society. If everyone were to develop their own habits in a non community place (such as home schooling), we would not end up having a compatible society (I’m not saying we have one, just that it would be way different without schooling).

2. Group level: we go to school to get relations. We are social beings that need other people. (or perhaps that’s a need we learn in this “society school”?).

3. Individual level: We need routines in our lives. In order to feel we have a meaning in life we need to feel we belong somewhere. School is an excellent place to get this life structure when we are too young to get it somewhere else. (like a job, etc).

4. Parents level: School is an extended kindergarten is that grown ups can live in a child free society between 08.00 am to 04.00 pm.

5. And I do need to add the knowledge component although it’s pretty redundant I believe.

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Kidd (1,059) (@kidd) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

I’ve never had a problem with the things they teach us in school. I’ll bitch about how I’ll never need algebra in my life (and I won’t), for example, but I know that the more you know the better. Knowledge truly is power.

The only thing I don’t like is the grading system. I’ve read about schools who have abandoned grades all together, instead passing students based on their work ethic. It eliminates pressure and forces teacher-student communication, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

On top of that, with grades, students learn only what they NEED to know for the next test or final and then forget it later. I feel they should want to learn more not because they need to know it for some dumb test, but because they truly thirst for knowledge. I’m rather guilty of this and it’s hard for me to think too deep when I only need to know the bare minimum to pass.

So, overall, I think school is important, but the system needs work if they want students to truly learn.

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kim (1) (@ominka) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

i wanna quit school. BAD. but until i have a blueprint of a guaranteed plan of my future desires, i will not just yet lol. point is, i think institutions like schools, that are backed up by the government, is expendable. there are plenty of free/cheap ways to educate ourselves on things that really matter. :)

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Em (473) (@emily) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

I think it’s incredible that education (whatever policies or whatever that’s implemented at the present time) is going to correlate with how “well everyone is taken care for in the future.” You would think that you’d want a well educated, strong youth…yet education & such “social” areas.. are put on the back burner, and funding gets cut more and more..

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Christian Chavez (49) (@sonofsaul) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

How about this question: should what we learn in school be “useful”? As in, should we only learn things which can in some way be applied to real life?
@creds I don’t think you can really make the argument that knowledge isn’t useful. I think there are different types of knowledge and for sure some types are not useful, but overall I don’t see any situation in which knowledge isn’t valuable.

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Lainy (5) (@lainybear) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

People forget that school isn’t the only place to get an education. Being book smart can only get you so far in life. You need to have street smarts too, or at the least you need to know how to take care of yourself in the real world. While the things you learn in school will help you in some aspects of your life there aren’t too many classes that are offered to actually benefit you in everyday life.
I think we should have more “useful” classes, but I don’t think that those are the only things that should be taught in school. I think that half your classes should be book smart things, and then the other half should be classes that will help you to better yourself and stand on your own when you venture out into society.
This has been on my mind recently too. I’m starting to think that the amount of importance that everyone is putting on a “good education” is starting to get out of hand. I want to be an environmental lawyer and I need to have the best grades possible in order to get into a good school. My mom puts so much pressure on me that anything less than an A feels like failure to me. Should kids today be pushed so hard that they feel like anything less than perfect is not acceptable? That simple isn’t healthy! I really like the idea of taking out the grading system and passing kids on work ethic. I think it’s a really good idea and I think it would end up benefiting my generation more. They always tell you that the youth are our future. I really scared for out future.

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Think-A-Tonk (1) (@rolanparas) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

There are many benefits on going to school even in our present education system (although school can be formal or informal). Benefits can be some or all but not limited to: training, discipline, acquiring knowledge, friendship, community, self esteem, belonging and Credentials. Going to school does not guarantee us of a successful/happy life but its a PLUS. It can also greatly influence on how we perceive life.. LET US AIM FOR A HIGHER EXISTENCE..! =)

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Christian Chavez (49) (@sonofsaul) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

@lainybear, I want to be an environmental lawyer too oddly enough. So good luck with that, I know how stressful it is. I’m sure you’re dealing with a lot of outside pressure, but just know that those who are pressuring you do it because they want you to succeed. Also, make sure you are working hard for the right reasons. Hit me up sometime and we can talk about law schools and such.
In regards to the whole passing kids on work ethic topic. To share a personally story, I went to a charter school for my middle school years which did exactly what you guys are talking about. We didn’t get grades and were passed on our work ethic and how much effort we put in. While it was cool at the time, I just do not think that it prepared me enough for high school. After this middle school I went to a pretty prestigious college prep school and I really struggled my first couple years. While I think the current grading has its flaws, I still think it’s necessary. Passing kids on work ethic simply does not prepare them well enough. I hate that I have to say it, but the world doesn’t value work ethic, it values results. In the end a grade is a result of something. It could be the result of work ethic or intelligence, but it is still representative of a level of success.
I think what we need is a grading system coupled with and educational system which doesn’t emphasize the grade but the knowledge behind it. Too often people work for the grade and not the knowledge. I’m sure we are all guilty of of learning something only to get a good grade on a test, but I think we need to begin to put more emphasis on the knowledge and not the grade.

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trevormsu (59) (@trevormsu) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

As a part of my degree program I have taken a couple anthropology classes, mainly social anthropology ones. They have reinforced some of what @creds and @emily were saying. It is easy to say that school influences the we view right and wrong or even prepares us to be functioning members of society, but what precisely drives that I think is less obvious. For example, grades are measurement of success; a unit of judgement that we are taught is highly important. The fact that grades are beat into our heads from age 6 to 18 means that we are better prepared to participate and ACCEPT a world that values “results” and defines the success of a person by evaluating them from an external perspective.

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Christian Chavez (49) (@sonofsaul) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

@trevormsu, I definitely think you are right in what you say. Grades are for sure a way to prepare us for the fact that the world values results. I mean, the world is not going stop valuing success and results, ever, so grades are a way to prepare us for that fact at a young age. I think there are better ways to do this, but a grading system I think actually helps us in this manner.

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trevormsu (59) (@trevormsu) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

Yeah I definitely agree that there are probably better ways. I didn’t mean to come off as supportive of the way that school socializes us to success, I more thought that the fact that it has such an effect is interesting. I personally view the idea of living an adult life focused on being “successful” as very unfulfilling. To me that sounds like a recipe for a mid life crisis. Being true to yourself and “living in good faith” by defining what success means to you -even if that means not aiming to accomplish anything concrete- seems to be a much happier and complete way to live. Assuming school socializes us in the way I previously said, then our education system works against this style of life. I am not saying public schools predestine us to be capitalist robots… I just think they give us a hearty nudge towards developing a mindset that a number, whether a test score or salary, is an accurate and important measure of self-worth. I am not saying that grades are evil and must be abolished, I just believe we need to recognize them for what they are.

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Christian Chavez (49) (@sonofsaul) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

Totally agree with you. I think one important issue is, like you some what said, how we define success. I mean, what does it mean to be successful? And how does school teach what success is and how we ought to be successful. Right now, as you were saying, it’s our scores and salaries which define us, and I think schools need to teach a new way of being successful. It’s like the John Lennon quote.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 10 years, 4 months ago ago

@sonofsaul, I don’t think there is any one specific reason why we go to school. It depends on all of the people who make up the thing called the school system. There are definitely some individual teachers who care and enjoy helping kids learn things they believe will help them develop (whether that is factually true or not), and then as it goes up the rank echelons I’m guessing it probably gets more cynical, where they believe they are just conditioning kids to get used to a schedule and submit to authority, preparing them for a life sentence in purgatory, whoops, i mean work. Then it could just be as simple as a way to have someone watch kids while parents slave away, to keep them out of trouble, and as they grow older, to keep kids from getting bored and turning to crime. Either way, I think the curriculum should change, I think there should be more creative/artistic classes, and more practical, everyday survival skills classes (like growing your own food, building your own house, how to work with tools, how to get your own power, etc.) Part of the reason things are so shitty today is that companies know people are too lazy to learn how to take care of themselves, and they are that way from a lifetime of conditioned dependence.

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Jivka (8) (@jivkap) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I think the main reason we go to school is to see all the subjects and choose the ones that we like the most so we can choose what we would like to do with our lifes and by that I mean to choose a profession that fits our personality and our brain skills. Yes, you don’t learn life lessons at school, you don’t learn how to deal with emotions, but that does not mean school lessons are not improtant. I honestly think a big part of the stuff we study at school is pretty interesting :)

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Zykanthos (4,757)M (@chodebalm) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@jivkap, How did you come across this thread? Just curious.

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tkim (24) (@socoamarettotk) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I think education is important, but I think that the world’s current education system should be redesigned completely. The grading system in my opinion doesn’t work too well, since kids these days have learned to become ultra-competitive to the point of gaming the system (ie. memorizing blindly rather than actually learning). In fact, the grading system discourages students from failing (bad grades = bad career), which I think is absolutely essential in order for learning.

I went to school because I had the opportunity to do so (my parents worked extremely hard to afford my education) and because otherwise it would have been very difficult to have a good career (other than starting your own business and succeeding). I don’t regret my experiences in school, but I sometimes question whether or not they were helpful for the ‘real world’. I majored in Industrial Engineering and work as an engineer, but I would say that only 5-10% was applicable to what I do. The rest you learn on the job. I believe it’s just a societal thing humans have created to somehow claim that if you did study for 4-5 years in college, you are qualified to get paid a stable income. I think this rung true to me the most when I got my first pay check (around week 2-3 of my first job) – I knew nothing, had done nothing yet they were paying me all this money – it made no sense to me.

EDIT: oh no, I didn’t realize this topic was mega old :/

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Nothing wrong with resurrecting old threads.

I think society should be pushing to tailor education more personally to individuals, rather than throwing everyone in the same room and teaching them the same things. We all have strengths and weakness, our personalities make a big difference in how we learn, we see some people as slower, but it is more that they are less receptive to the more common methods of education.

Targeted with an appropriate style, we would not be seeing such huge intellectual gaps between citizens. That is the thing about rich, private schools; educations are very much custom designed by psychological evaluations that discover the most effective techniques per each student, but public schools do not have these kinds of resources, so often students struggle and are left behind, or get frustrated and leave.

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Yael Alonso (59) (@YaelAlonso) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Because our parents and the state make us. Education is important, as is social interaction and group values, which school sometimes promotes, but there are much better way we could achieve all these important things.

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Obviously, you’re not a golfer (605) (@donjaime23) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@sonofsaul, Wanna know what happens when you dont go to school? Watch Jersey Shore.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@donjaime23, idk about that….I’ve never seen the show but it seems to me that NOT going to school really paid off for that lot. They all seem to be swimming in money, and thus will never have to worry about school or jobs unless they blow it all. I don’t really want to be a guido, but if I was, I don’t think I’d care what anyone thought of me, knowing I have enough money to never work again. I’d be a free man. If anything, the Jersey Shore crowd beat the game.

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Shalalanovala (37) (@Shalalanovala) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@sonofsaul,

I’ve wondered ever since I was a child why they didn’t teach us in school how to fix our cars, first aid, how to garden, self-expression, etc., and that really bothered me, I couldn’t find any practicality in it. It was nice to escape home life and not too deviate too much but our educational system is flawed to the point where reformation is a waste of time, we need to obliterate it and start anew. Everyone else did it, all my relatives, all my friends, everyone I knew, and they all said the same thing in junction with television, movies, and government: go to school or you’ll be a failure, a drug addict, homeless, directionless, your happiness is contingent upon school, success is synonymous with financial abundance and if you want money you have to get a piece of paper that magically validates your expertise in a certain field and you have to go to school to do that and you don’t want to be unsuccessful, do you? Most of us, our dreams, we’re told, whether directly or indirectly, that they’re a waste of time and how easy is it for society, for government, for family, for others’ dreams to crawl into our souls and eclipse our own and taking into account how stupid our dreams are, we have to go to school if we want to dream a dream worth being dreamt. You don’t want to step off the assembly line, that’s such a stupid thing to do, you’re not stupid are you? You’re not a failure are you? Everything you want to do, everyone you might want to be, requires money you see, so I was told-as were and are most-to pursue something I wasn’t interested in so I can Hopefully eventually pursue what I do love. And what a terrifying lie that is to a child, when we’re given a place to sleep, mac and cheese, maybe even pets, shown cars, zoos, amusement parks, the beaches, the forests, great buildings, and say that none of our comforts-which it’s exceedingly difficult to see On Your Own how things like dairy, commercials, hamburgers, etc. are bad for you-these things that we hold childish love and awe for, will never be accessible without money. Maybe I didn’t list something that would catch your eye or you agree with but y’all understand what I’m saying.

So why did I go to school?

It was either go to school or willfully ostracize myself, bask in my failure and stupidity, never make anything out of myself, shame my family, shame myself, have my happiness swiped from under my feet, become a homeless drug addict, and bulldoze the foundation to my dreams.

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secretagentpeter (81) (@secretagentpeter) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

My own life gets in the way of my actual fucking passions
fuck the system
I’ll post again on less pissy terms once In read the post just throwing this in there…

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secretagentpeter (81) (@secretagentpeter) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

nvm.

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jack.s (25) (@jacksampson) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. – Terrence Mckenna

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