Using Transcendentalist Ideas On High School Students

1097 words - 5 pages

Transcendentalism, a philosophy that began in the 19th century, advocates that humans are naturally good and all individuals have potential. In high school, developing into a unique and self-assured person can be a difficult task. Students feel the need to be accepted by their peers and standing out against the crowd can be difficult. Students should be exposed to transcendentalist ideas would be able to fight this battle and leave high school unscathed. Many argue that transcendentalist beliefs cause problems as students cannot think for themselves at a young age. However, students who do not think for themselves while in high school will never develop the ability to think for themselves. The morals and beliefs of a student should not be handed to them on a silver platter the way there are in realist teachings. Instead, they must discover and test their beliefs. Although some argue transcendentalism would cause students to rebel, students in high school should embrace transcendentalist ideas as students would be more likely to believe in their capabilities, rely less on the opinion of others, and find their own way of thinking.

High schools should prepare students for the world after high school by encouraging belief in transcendentalism, which will allow students to hold a strong confidence in their abilities. In high school, students find it difficult to achieve their goals, lacking the belief of potential in all individuals. Transcendental beliefs support the idea that each has undiscovered potential. Accepting this idea will allow students to venture out. As Ralph Waldo Emerson, the founder of transcendentalism believed, those who can understand themselves and live their life while maintaining the philosophy of “Trust[ing] thyself” will be more likely to succeed (“Self Reliance”). Students in high school who have explored their own abilities will be more prepared for the future, knowing what they want to do with their life. Self-efficacy in students is necessary as they will strive to complete their goals and will not blame external factors for failure. Those who are encouraged to embrace transcendentalism will be more likely to have these tendencies. They will have an easier time setting their goals, instead of having their goals set for them. Though some say high schools should aid students in setting realistic goals, nobody knows the capabilities a student that the student themselves. As Henry David Thoreau, the co-founder of transcendentalism stated, if a student believes in their potential and follow their dreams, “success unexpected in common hours” will be achieved (“Conclusion”). The building of trust in oneself during the years spent in high school is vital in order to spend the rest of one’s life successfully.
Transcendentalism encouraged in high schools would allow for the development of students who rely on their opinions more than those of other students. Constant judgment from peers can make it simple to conform and follow...

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