21 September 2018
The Problems With Modern Education
In modern America, more people have better access to public education now than in any point in US history, and with an exponentially growing population and high amount of people from other nations moving here, the number of public school attendees will only continue to increase. Since the Second World War and especially the rise of the internet America has seen a plethora of talented individuals who have brought many new products, services, and ideas to entire world. However, despite there being more millionaires today than at any point in American history, our current education system in both K-12 and universities have had a recent spike in serious problems. These issues range from inside and outside the schools such as bullying, technology, standardized testing, cost of school, overall quality of education, and several more, and they need to be addressed so they can be resolved for the next generation.
One of the key things kids learn when they first begin school at a public elementary school is social interaction. They are placed in rooms of 20 or 30 with other children and are able to communicate and make friends. However, one new major factor in today’s era is the easier access to technology and social media. More and more parents are allowing their young children use devices like smartphones to log in to sites like Instagram or Twitter. This is something that many parents need to reconsider, as social media can deteriorate the mental health of children, and is a platform to the dangerous effects of cyberbullying. According to Eastern Washington University, children who frequently use social media sites decreases their level of contentment, which leads to a higher likelihood of depression, aggressiveness, (ironically) antisocial behavior, and most of all, decrease in learning performance. Also later in life the effects of cyberbullying increases the chances of one attempting suicide. While social media can have positive effects on someone, it is crucial that you keep this away from young children to not hinder their early years in school.
While outside factors such as social media damage a students’ learning capability, how do the methods of modern teaching and the quality and content of education affect a student? One of the big problems that many students have about school is that the information taught is outdated and unnecessary today. In an era where new skills are preferred or required to snag a job and to survive on your own aren’t really taught in public schools. We are not taught how to do important tasks in school such as pay taxes, change a tire, pay a mortgage, or basic medical treatment, are things that we hopefully learn how to do by our parents, but if school is supposed to prepare us for the future, why aren’t any of these skills provided to us? Instead thanks to many programs such as Common Core, schools primarily teach in preparation for tests. Standardized testing makes it so the material taught is to prepare you to pass the exams given, and ultimately get you a good grade, not necessarily a good education for the future.
Fortunately, there is an alternative, as more people are realizing that attending a private school can offer more flexibility in terms of what a student learns. According to the Scots College of Australia, some benefits of attending a private school as opposed to a public one include individual support, better specialized teachers, advanced curriculum flexibility and choice, and a clearer focus on personal values and aspirations. Despite private school being a great alternative to public school, one drawback is that some people may not be able to afford the cost, but the same can be said about college.
Many Americans used to dream about getting a college education, and while many still do, the insanely high cost of college has drenched graduates with so much debt, millions of people are wondering if college is truly worth it. According to a report by Best Value Schools, “the cost of higher education has surged more than 538% since 1985”, and surprisingly many colleges state that they will continue to increase the cost of tuition and tuition fees. In the same article, some key reasons as to why tuition costs are skyrocketing are because of increased population, higher demand for entry, and higher expectations to go to college. During the boomer generation many jobs, such as the industrial industry, didn’t require a college education, instead hard physical work was required to be successful. However since the rise of the internet, technology, and popularity of self-made entrepreneurs, the market to new high paying jobs that require skills that universities can provide has opened widely for young students. Millennials and Generation Z simply aren’t as interested in physical labor like their parents were, and instead focus on tech based jobs.
The problem is everybody wants a piece of the money pie. As technology advances and human population grows, more people are willing get a higher education to enter a career field where specific skills are necessary, but mainly to earn more money as cost of living is also increasing, so many colleges are being crowded with a massive influx of students. With that fact, in order to keep up with the demand, the heads of these universities need to accommodate by spending more money for more resources, such as more parking spaces, more faculty and staff, and new buildings, just like what’s going on in Chaffey! However there is a key difference in America when it comes to this topic compared to many other nations. Countries like Canada, Mexico, and many European countries, their governments use a chunk of taxpayer money to fund an entire or partial college tuition fee. While it’s unclear why the U.S. government doesn’t pay for tuition fees like these other nations, its had created a culture of outrage and at the same time skepticism.
According to a Forbes article, “there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the US” (Friedman), and that the average amount of debt accumulated per student is $37,172. For many students it can often take decades to pay off the loans needed to pay for the tuition, which leads to many years of stress and even regret as not every person who graduates can find a job. Because of this debt epidemic, the rise of college skepticism had encouraged many that it is in their best interest to avoid college all together. Skeptics claim that degrees are nothing more than a certification rather than true education, and that many skills can be self taught thanks to the internet. They also say that it’s better to be self made than employed as the “certification” they speak of is just so businesses can hire you based on where you went rather than what you actually know. Overall less and less people still have faith that paying so much for higher education is really the better decision.
Right now American education is by no means terrible, if it was we wouldn’t be in the state we are now. There are more millionaires and billionaires today than ever before as well as the fact that there are more racial and ethnic minorities than ever getting a higher education, and recently the number of women who go to college actually outnumber men. However it’s obvious that our education system from K-12 all the way to college needs to be improved. Thankfully we are able to identify the exact problems we are facing and there are clear paths that we can take to fix them. We need to get little kids off social media, find an effective way to stop bullying, update the curriculum, and find a solution to the high cost of college. With that then maybe the future for a better America can be ready to go for the next generation.
Friedman, Zack. “Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 June 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2018/06/13/student-loan-debt-statistics-2018/#4146e66a7310
Sitemap. “Understanding the Rising Costs of Higher Education.” Best Value Schools, 20 Nov. 2017, www.bestvalueschools.com/understanding-the-rising-costs-of-higher-education/.
Scots College. “4 Benefits of a Private School Early Years Education.” The Scots College, 21 February 2017. www.tsc.nsw.edu.au/tscnews/4-benefits-of-a-private-school-early-years-education.
Angelab. “The Effects of Social Media on Children .” ENGL20113, 6 June 2012, https://sites.ewu.edu/cmst496-stafford/2012/06/06/the-effects-of-social-media-on-children/.
“Effects of Bullying.” StopBullying.gov, Department of Health and Human Services, www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/effects/index.html.
Sitemap. Understanding the Rising Costs of Higher Education. Best Value Schools.
The article begins with giving the reader the exact numbers on just how much college tuition costs have risen in the past couple decades, afterwards explaining why the costs have risen so much, specifically because of higher demand to this degree of education. I chose this article because in an age where many are struggling to pay off these debts, few actually know why they have to pay that much to begin with, and this article thoroughly explains to the reader the exact reasons for rising tuition costs. This website is made to tell future college student how much their desired school will cost them, so they are professionals in how tuition costs work and their history.
Friedman, Zack. Student Loan Debt in 2018: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis. Forbes. June 2018
The report immediately provides the exact figures as to how high the national student debt is both collectively and individually. Afterward the report provides more numbers regarding the subject such as how much debt increases per year as well as providing advice as to how to potentially deal with debt on a personal level. This is a reliable source because it uses several graphs and charts and cites where they acquired these numbers and figures.
Scots College. 4 Benefits of a Private School Early Years of Education. 21 February 2017
The introduction to this article tells the reader the importance of a child’s education and proceeds to give four benefits of choosing a private school as opposed to a public one. These four being individual support, specialized teachers, curriculum flexibility and choice, and focus on values and culture, and they each are elaborated on in detail. This is a private school itself, so they have first hand experience on how their performance in education compares to public Australian schools.
Barnes, Angela. The Effects of Social Media on Children. Eastern Washington University. 6 June 2012.
The Introduction explains how social media is quickly consuming most of society, and because they allow us to share details of our personal life, it is crucial that we keep this tech away from children. Some negative consequences of children using social media include being prone to cyberbullying, increase in depression, impairment of mental health, and reduction of social skills. The article cites several sources of information and EWU is a well-respected and reliable school.
Stopbullying.gov. Effects of Bullying. 12 September 2017
Immediately begins with the effects bullying has on children as well as show the differences between the victims and perpetrators of bullying. Victims are more likely to suffer from depression, perform worse in school, and have health complaints. Bullies are more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs, drop out of school early, and have criminal convictions. This is an official website of the United States government.