A Chance to Dream, A Chance for Creativity

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Written by Gideon Batai

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What’s the point of school?” It’s an oxymoron. We spend the first 18 years of life in school, yet it’s difficult to pinpoint any specific reasons. 

The Origin of Schooling in America

To answer that question, (in the United States anyway), you have to go back to the 1800s. It was the middle of the Industrial Revolution. Compulsory school was rare, and child labor was common. The jobs of the day were simple and repetitive. For example, a worker may operate a sewing machine all day, or work in an assembly line all day. That’s why governments created schools. That’s also why ultra-rich tycoons like John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie greatly contributed to American educational institutions. To create obedient workers. Think about it: you get up when a bell tells you to, and go to the next room in five minutes. It’s the same every day unless you’re told otherwise. Many schools still have strict dress codes, and when budget cuts come, the first classes to go are the arts.

Enforcement & Safety

The way many schools use strong artificial lighting and have only tall windows is reminiscent of a prison. The food in many schools is also reminiscent of food in the United States’ best prisons. Many schools have required metal detectors. It’s hard to find a school without at least one school resource officer. Often, school resource officers focus on enforcement rather than improving school safety. There are countless examples online of school resource officers handcuffing under 10 as if they’re a felon.

Purpose

You can’t help but ask, “who is a school built to serve?” It might intend to serve students, but it’s certainly failing in many respects. Schools try to categorize or measure the human brain’s inboxes. Everything is percentages and percentiles. The SAT and ACT both attempt to measure a person’s capacity through percentiles. Schools receive funding based on nationalized testing. Schools issue letter grades based on percentages. The human brain isn’t meant for that, though. Instead, we must measure students on their skills and achievements, not percentages.

New Steps

It’s time for the United States to abandon its prison schools, built to reinforce the American upper classes’ manipulation of lower-class people. Instead, we must embrace creativity-based schooling. Dropping ACT or SAT requirements in 2020 was a tremendous first step. Some schools, like Sunrise Park Middle School in Minnesota, are completely dropping “F” grades. This is another fabulous step towards creativity-based education, as anything from 0 percent to 60 percent is an “F”. A student could turn nothing in, and receive an “F”. Or, they could sincerely try, and have serious difficulty with the subject, and still receive an “F.”

A Revitalization of Learning

It’s time for the United States to abandon its prison schools, built to reinforce the American upper classes’ manipulation of lower-class people. Instead, we must embrace creativity-based schooling. Dropping ACT or SAT requirements in 2020 was a tremendous first step. Some schools, like Sunrise Park Middle School in Minnesota, are completely dropping “F” grades. This is another fabulous step towards creativity-based education, as anything from 0 percent to 60 percent is an “F”. A student could turn nothing in, and receive an “F”. Or, they could sincerely try, and have serious difficulty with the subject, and still receive an “F.”

It’s the 21st century. We should be empowering learners to creatively explore the world and encourage their dreams, whether or not that coincides with the traditional values of a school. www.kold.com/2021/10/05/middle-school-eliminates-f-grading-scale-encourage-learning-not-failure