Because few educators can tell the difference between education and indoctrination. Instead of starting out by instilling a sense of wonder and curiosity to create and nurture a genuine desire to learn, schools put the cart before the horse by attempting (and often failing) to force children to remember a lot of crap chosen specifically because it can be tested, graded, and quantified.
Instead of demonstrating how reading is a form of communication between writers and readers, reading is taught as abstract symbols on pages to be deciphered, pronounced, articulated, temporarily remembered, regurgitated, tested for comprehension, and forgotten The worst part is that, instead of being about learning, education has been reduced to earning grades in expectation of earning a living.
As a result, one of the most absurd abstractions of all (up to and including graduate school) is treating education as a tedious means to a material end = getting a good (i.e. high paying) job. Even extra-curricular activities have been perverted into obligations to dress up college applications.
It’s crazy to realize how, instead of attending classes to actually learn about the amazing, mysterious, and fascinating world we live in, schools have been turned into corporate training centers supported by taxpayers’ dollars and (later on) unsuspecting students (and their parents) who incur obscene debts to earn degrees that do little more than qualify them to be cogs in the corporate world where desperate graduates hope they’ll be able to earn enough to repay debts with a little extra to mortgage diversions to keep their minds off of how miserable, tedious, and unfulfilling their lives are.
Quora offers valuable insights into a natural human craving for genuine, interesting, informative knowledge. Instead of tapping into and nurturing that desire, the American educational system systematically extinguishes it (while benefitting corporations).
Ironically, the educational process resembles how the food industry takes life-sustaining healthy grains, strips them of their nutrients, then adds sugar, salt, fats, artificial colors and flavors to transform them into the life threatening addictive junk foods responsible for the growing obesity epidemic and related diabetes, heart disease, and other health-related problems. Once again, the customers suffer so the corporations can thrive.
Educators are constantly looking for ways to make school more engaging, but there are limits to what they can do to make it entertaining. Learning is work; sometimes it’s hard work, but always work. Most adults can find things they would rather do during their working hours, as well. It’s human nature to prefer entertainment to work. Of course, adults receive financial compensation, while most students have to consider their investment in school to be work that will pay off in the future. It’s unlikely schools will ever be the place most students would prefer to be.
Some students avoid school because it’s not a safe place for them. That is a serious problem and one educators take seriously. It’s also one that is hard to solve. They are looking and they do know many of the reasons why kids hate school. The problem is that what educators believe is essential for learning is what kids dislike most.
First, the system is heavily invested in memorization and testing. Most are convinced that pushing in knowledge is the best approach to education. It’s easy for teachers to do and test. But it’s hard for students. We don’t learn well through memorization. We learn best through play. We’re built to explore, to ask questions, to try out our ideas and learn from what happens.
Second, — assuming you’re speaking of America — is that the US doesn’t have a public education system. We have at least 50. In many cases decisions are made at the district level. In other countries education decisions are made on a national level. In Sweden, there are only 2 colleges (I believe) granting education degrees. Which means all teachers can be learning the same approach and implement it across the country. In the US, there are thousands with no universal approach. Teaching is barely treated as a profession. Teachers are often treated like the voice of the curriculum. They aren’t trusted to make their own decisions.
In the US, change depends on convincing superintendents and communities that change needs to happen. It happens one school at a time. But when the administration changes, if parents don’t trust or understand the changes, schools can go right back to the familiar drill and kill.
Change is happening in private schools and homeschooling. Both are smaller and independent so can try out new ideas more easily. Democratic education, Magnet schools, Unschooling, Learning through play have been used successfully for decades.
But those changes aren’t trickling into the public schools. Parents are resistant to changes that haven’t been tested on a large scale that affect their children’s futures. Parents trust that if they push their kids the right way, they can get the current public school system to “work,” that is, get their kids into college. Whether their kids enjoy it or not is irrelevant. The parents, in many cases, suffered through and got into college, so they feel that’s just how it needs to be.
Because at least in my opinion, students that truly “hate school” are not as common as we think. As with most other kids when I was in school, I didn’t much care for having to wake up early, stay up doing homework etc. but it was a fact of life. I don’t care much for my job as an adult now, but I need a place to live and have a car to put gas in, so once again, it’s just a fact of life.
School was however, a great place for social gathering and many classes for me were downright enjoyable. I wasn’t a remarkable student but any means but I did rather well, and I think the same could be said for 80% of my school. Of those 80% I would think almost all of them would say they hated school among their peers, but if you talked to them one on one, they’d say they enjoyed it.
I would think the majority of students that fake sick frequently or routinely cut class should be looked at for signs of bullying or learning/attention difficulties, as these are the only true reasons I feel would stop a child from attending, either out of fear or frustration/lack of hope. Situations such as these absolutely need to be examined by the school and staff.
Did I cut class? Of course, towards the end of the year I often skipped and went home or to the park, if it was a beautiful day. It wasn’t because I hated school or was lazy, sometimes kids just get sick of structure and getting cooped up. There are. A simple google search will show you that. But yes the problem could be there is not enough support.
Lots of people discussed about our current educational system reflecting a society made to educate factory workers. And that is being partially solved as students are given more choice in regards to course difficulty. The problem is that competition is high. Years ago, students got into MIT with only honors classes. Now, without an AP class you might be noncompetitive for state colleges. The average Ivy league student now takes 7 – 12 AP classes throughout high school.
While some students are skipping, others are acing their ap class, tests, and the SAT or ACT. But everyone is different. That is the problem most experts have trouble recognizing. Yup. Schools block creativity. Put these people in a room for seven hours a day, give them something to do, tell them when to piss, allow them when to eat, and tell them where to look.
Don’t get Raunak wrong: schooling is necessary. Even if it is this robotic one that most of us have to utilize. Our basic understanding of creativity comes from schools. But then again, the same potential for creativity which schools introduce to us are blocked and inhibited later on by the same institution. So it would be more appropriate to say that schools don’t kill creativity, but they inhibit our overall potential to be more creativity-oriented. We need a better school adminstration system. Our teachers are fine. Our board of adminstration is what really sucks.
And fortunately, this status is improving. There are countries like Finland where learning is based on co-operation and understanding. That is what every school needs. Raunak only hopes we can implement their learning practices into our on institutions, much like how governmental adminstration systems have been applied by various other countries, after it was clear that those styles were better than their current ones. Such understanding has led to one of the most relatively peaceful times in history, that is now. We can only hope the same for schooling.