Shopping Mall High School is an expression used in reference to consumer-oriented secondary educational institutions presenting plenty of choices to the students within its program. The program includes choice of schedule, classes, and a wide variety of subject matter, subject difficulty, and extra-curricular activities (sports and hobbies). Schools dubbed shopping mall high schools make such various and different options for students in an attempt to allow students to achieve the customized, individualized education and desired training.
Shopping mall high schools offer various curriculums in order to maximize potentials, graduation percentages, and customer satisfaction. In 20th century, the diversification boom and huge enrollment in high schools had created a huge demand among parents and students because of frustration and dissatisfaction with the present system. The vacuum of need and want filled in with less challenging and more accommodating shopping mall high school style. The range, preference and objectivity made these high schools similar to shopping malls.
The significant increase in shopping mall high schools is due to acceptance of its unique and flexible educational system among students. Shopping mall style schools boast comprehensiveness and liberty of student choice within such programs The critics warn against catering to juvenile whims. Educator “cafeteria style education” that detrimentally serves to diminish “commonly shared information between generations and between young people themselves.
The unavoidable consequence of the shopping mall high school is a lack of shared knowledge across and within schools resulting in harmful cultural fragmentation. The evidence from recent reports indicates that the problem of high school students graduating without thoroughly developing many standard intellectual skills persists. In many cases this problem results from the lack of clear state and local standards for what students are expected to learn, and the methods used to teach them.
To urge the proliferation of shopping mall high schools is to ignore the fact that learning just isn’t like shopping. Presented with a wide array of goods, we can purchase what we want and carry it home in a shopping bag. But if we are presented with a wide array of knowledge, organized by others for their purposes, we cannot just acquire it and carry it home in our heads. In fact most of it disappears once we’re home (that’s why teachers like to give tests on Friday). Only if one assumes that earning is simply a matter of acquiring information (for how long? a week? a semester? forever? ) can one believe that schools can be improved by becoming more like shopping malls.
Schools should have an intellectual focus; that they should have the same goals for all their students; that they should organize themselves to know these students well and to acknowledge their unique characteristics as people; and that they should graduate them only when the students can demonstrate that they have learned what the school intended to teach.