As we said in the video, we initially started to make this ‘doc’ (I say with heavy quotations) to bash the education system, but as we continued to go to different events and talk to different people, we ended up growing a lot more than we thought we would. Anyways here are a few final thoughts and questions I wanted to share about this topic:
I wish I wish upon a star…
One concept I wish we had explored and asked about was the concept of creativity in schools. There are two questions I have:
- Academia NEEDS creativity to survive, but do schools create an environment that facilitate creativity?
- Stress-based learning VS interest-based learning- how much of a difference does it make?
I would definitely argue that the grading system is stress-based learning. Ultimately, what gets you to study for a mid term for 2 months or write a 10 page paper is your GPA. If you don’t do well on this test you will get a bad grade, and if you get a bad grade it will ruin your GPA -> closes the door for jobs, grad school, etc. This is a great driving force for us to get stuff done.
But as Dr. Dolderman mentioned, extrinsic motivations like grades aren’t really that great and tends to take the joy out of things. I know countless of people who start the year off loving their classes but towards the end of the semester they end up in this dreaded let-me-just-memorize-these-lecture-slides-so-I-can-get-the-credit-and-get-the-hell-out-of-here zone.
Reminds me of this ted talk (one of the most watched ted talks)(watch it as it validates my argument lol):
Anyways my question here is, do you think it is possible to teach and motivate kids solely through interest? Is that just being naive?
I mean, if you think back to the time of the molding of these subjects that we study so dearly, those men and women had literally no reason to spend their lives studying anything but out of their own curiosity.
Actually, in all innovation and research, like the drive to figure out whether light is a wave or a particle, or how we can get a man on the moon, none of these were because they were forced to figure it out. At the end of the day it is curiosity that leads to major discoveries, and you cannot force people to be curious, especially when they are so fixated on getting a grade.
My Personal Experience
I am not a good student. Not even close to one. Almost at the brink of dropping out, actually. Is my belief on the education system a reflection of how bad I am doing? Maybe. Am I just being petty because I’m so bad in school? Probably.
But as mentioned in the video above, we are killing the creativity and interest out of these children. Is it wrong for me believe that, if given different types of opportunity, there are a lot of students who would become successful?
What I learned
Moral of the story, From doing this video I very much started off very angst-y. The system is horrible, soul-sucking, yayaya.
As I continue to do this video, I kind of started to see this topic (and the situation that I am in) in a different light. Don’t get me wrong I still believe there is a lot that can be changed about the education system but at the end of the day (and this is probably the biggest lesson that I learned) it does not matter. It really doesn’t.
Because at the end of the day it is not realistic for me, an individual with only a set amount of time on this earth, to expect that every environment that I enter to be the exact way I want it. In fact, many times in life the reality is the exact opposite. Yes, ideally it would be great to have all the things wrong with the education system to be fixed tomorrow but if you are ganna sit around and wait for everything to be in the right place before you will do something, or keep quitting things until you find the perfect, uncorrupt environment, you will never get anywhere in life.
I will admit that I was very much spoiled in the sense that I felt everything is supposed to go right. I felt that since I have some skills (don’t ask me what), and an interest in what I am doing, everything is suppose to work out.
What I’ve come to realized is that in order to succeed in an environment that sucks, you need understand what exactly you are trying to accomplish, understand your strengths and weaknesses, then BE PROACTIVE. Figure out a way to get stuff done. There is always more than one path to get to any goal. Flaws, whether it exists within the system or an individual, are not deal-breakers.
The Big question
If I’m ganna get even deeper, I feel like I am still trying to understand when you should put the blame on system VS self. In the beginning of this video I was very much blaming the “system” for all the flaws in my situation, even if some of the flaws were mine. I also felt like I completely flipped and began to blame myself for everything that was going wrong, when sometimes it very well be the situation that you are in that is the problem.
The reason why I want to be able to figure this out is because I think this question applies to all “systems” that I will encounter in life, not just with school. I feel like I have met people who are stuck on the extreme sides of the spectrum of this question: On one side there are people who truly believe they can do no evil, are unwilling to take responsibility, and when things go wrong they are so quick to say that the system is out to get them.
On the other hand, you have the other extreme which are people who have so much… idek what to call it… faith? Trust? Conviction? In the system that it seems like they are physically incapable to say anything’s wrong with it. They ALWAYS shift the blame onto the individual as the root of the problem, even when it is clearly out of their control (See: the arguments over the deaths of Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Jonathan Ferrell, John Crawford, etc). This can get dangerous especially in cases when peoples lives are involved or can lead to corruption.
Both are equally as bad. How to figure out when it is one or the other is something I am still trying to learn.
Let me know what you think!!!!!