University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
One Size Fits All
One size fits all is a term that we have all heard in our society. This cliche has been applied to clothing, wrist watches, necklaces and bike helmets. This universal fit concept is, unfortunately, the thinking behind most public education today. As we know, one size fits all is anything but. Just as people are physically built differently, we all have diverse learning styles and capabilities. Public high schools in the United States are also built around this idea.
I believe that public high school promotes the aim of capitalistic goals, instead of promoting “Some believe that one remedy to unequal educational opportunities is choice. ”(pg 298). I am an advocate for charter school education, though I was never able to attend one. I recognize that high school students have different interest and passions. In Creating Comprehensive High Schools, James Constant suggest special academic arrangements be made for highly gifted the that “these students are challenged not only by course work, but by the development of their special interest as well. (Pg 329) I feel every student should be afforded the opportunity to develop their interests, gifts and strengths in the public school setting. To just give this privilege that is paid for with public monies to certain students, instead of all, based upon the observation of teachers is unfair. Especially, in schools where students live with socio-economic issues that impact their education negatively. If a talented student has not eaten breakfast, how can he concentrate on class assignments to his best ability?
If a student has not had great academic advantages and exposures, such as those found in elite prep schools, how can he attain the same study habits and principles? Should not these students be allowed to develop their special interests in order to have the best public educational high school experience? Charter schools give the benefit of specialized interest instruction, uses similar educational state standards with flexibility and is backed by public tax dollars. I believe this type of education involves more choice than the traditional public high school.
Choice is a huge part of life and why should we deprive high school students with this right in their education, when they are expected to make healthy decisions on their own upon education. As a society, we need to start promoting more autonomy amongst high school students in their educational pursuits. Today’s educational system is not out to teach students how to think, but essentially what to think. Instead of preparing students for higher education or to be free-thinkers, I believe our educational system is set up to crank out workers.
As workers, we are set up to graduate with minimum skills and go out into the world to get jobs, not professions. My high school experience was more like a prison, than preparing me to be a free-thinker in the real world. Our curriculum was mediocre at best, ensuring that we can read, write and follow basic instructions to coincide with the rudimentary math skills. I spent fifty minutes in one classroom on one subject six times a day. In the fifty minutes I spent in each class, 10 minutes of that was taken up with teachers attempting to take roll and focus the class on that day’s lesson.
The learning objectives were rushed and we were not given sufficient time to apply any material covered in the classroom, especially in science courses. As soon as I would get mentally involved in the subject I was learning the bell would ring. I was then rushed like cattle off to another classroom with five minutes of travel time. The next teacher would begin attendance and the routine from the previous course would begin all over again. This was the educational cycle of my high school experience every day for four years of my life.
I think the high school educational public system is set up as a cash crop such as the prison system or genetically engineered soy bean for that matter. Reason being is all the unnecessary information that the schools ask personally about your child. Such as race gender and economic status are not being . These particular categories are then contracted to survey and “research” companies which are owned or not-for-profit organizations which either in turn have contributed large sums of donations or sponsored their events such as Pfitzer.
A high-end pharmaceutical company, who specializes in making psycho-stimulant drugs, that have not been FDA approved to experiment with our children if they do not meet the criteria for an evolving student in that type of educational system. This is a system that says your education is a one size fits all eve though the staff faculty and board members know that every child learns differently they also know that cultural differences have an influence on your child’s learning habits as well. Will they and have they decided to come up with a different type of curriculum to teach those with a different learning style then the masses.