Thirty thousand eight hundred and fourteen dollars, that is how much my first year at college costs but what am I actually paying for? College is supposed to be a time for growth, experience and learning, but is that what is actually happening? The answer to that question is no; beginning in grade school, students are taught the exact opposite. Although teachers have tried to make school more engaging, it is no longer about learning and students are going to be greatly affected by this change. Parents and students are paying for college only to have an education system that tears down individuality, and is non beneficial to students’ learning.
School has evolved from teaching about learning and independent thinking to teaching about obedience. As John Gatto, a former New York City Teacher of the Year, explains in his article “Dumbing Us Down: Weapons of Mass Instruction”, schools used to teach “independent thought, appreciation for great works, and an experience of the world not found within the confines of a classroom” (Gatto 524). There was a point in time where school used to be a place to go to learn, not to have the highest ACT scores, attendance, or GPAs. Now-a-days school is about how obedient a student can be, and the “routines are set up to discourage you from self-discovery” (Gatto 523). Administrations are more concerned about how well their students can do on performance tests than how well students actually learn the material. In high school and grade school, students sit in class for eight hours and listen to teachers lecture at them and then go home to do hours worth of homework. The only aspect that changes from this routine in college is that it is much harder and students spend more time studying and doing homework than they do in lecture.
Professors make tests so hard knowing that most students will fail. Students then become discouraged from failing the latest test and are convinced that they must drop the class or they will fail in life. School has become a drilling process to test who can earn the best grades. Teachers drill into students’ minds that if they do not get good grades, they will not get into a good high school or college or get a good job, which is a complete lie. Students who believe this become so wrapped up in their grades to the point where it can be an obsession. This is not the mentality students should have, because it effects how much they truly are learning.
“School often acts as an obstacle to success” (Gatto 526). This is the fault of not only the institution, but the teachers themselves. Teachers are not properly engaging the students, and therefore students are not learning the material, but merely memorizing it for the next test. Scott Jaschik, a lead editor of Inside Higher Ed, claims that “few parts of their jobs seem to annoy professors more than grading” (Jaschik 528). Due to this factor, some professors have come up with a new grading system that allows for peer grading. This is a major...