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Conformity Vs. Individuality In Schools Essay

890 words - 4 pages

As a student, I am often troubled by the rigid routines of the school day, despite the fact that I am actually a very habitual person. The constant ringing of bells, lectures, bellwork, classwork, homework, each a daily practice throughout the school year. Although all of these components promote conformity, which will ultimately support the balance of school and societal norms, they also tend to threaten each student’s own unique characteristics. This then poses the question; to what degree should schools encourage conformity versus individuality? Certainly, a level of conformity is required to achieve a balanced society however, the overall structure of the school day and class, including the methods used to teach and mandatory classes, is depriving students of their sense of independence by not allowing them to think for themselves and destroying their natural curiosity; therefore I believe schools need to place more emphasis on the individuality of students.
There is no doubt that conformity is essential to the harmony of society. It allows for individuals to work together under a uniform set of rules and norms. In childhood and adolescence, the time during which students go to school, children begin to learn these basic rules of civilization. They socialize with others, learn respect and become well-rounded individuals. This requires students to not only develop their talents but also their weaknesses. This Achilles' heel may be academic, such as math and science or more artistic, like vocal music (Source F). Although students may not be pursuing a future in these areas, learning them is part of becoming a balanced person academically. Only strengthening and focusing on a student’s specific talent could create an image of communism, despite the fact that students would be choosing their own area of interest. School also provides a place for students to learn the basis for rules they will have to comply with in the future. This includes prohibitions against assault and theft or respect for leaders (Source G). Given that students are at an age where they are extremely moldable, it is imperative that they learn these rules in school.
Looking at the actual amount of conformity present in schools, as opposed to the ideal amount, it seems that schools have moved past a healthy level to a point where students don’t often have to genuinely think for themselves. On a basic level, students don’t have to plan or use their judgment to ensure that they arrive to class on time. They become dependent on bells to tell them when they need to be in class and...

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