Causal Essay- Joseph Passalacqua

A Flawed Education System

School today are all based off of a very linear structure which teaches students nothing but the minimum requirements of passing standardized tests and giving students little room to grow in the classroom.  Our minds, as humans, are very diverse and complex creative machines that are weakened once a student is enrolled in school, lowering high levels of creativity that we are all born with.  These levels are lowered, because classes that help to expand upon creativity are less favored than academic classes, which seem to lower ones creativity and create duplicate students whose level of intelligence is replicable to their peers.  This causes trouble in the job market after graduating from school, forcing employers to make the tough decisions of which to employ when there is little to no difference among new applicants.

Humans, as stated by Sir Ken Robinson, are organic and largely unpredictable beings.  Our minds need to be taught based on our individual levels of intelligence to cater to students as the need arises.  Currently, all schools are based off of the same linear structure with curriculums and classes based off of a student’s age.  It doesn’t matter what a students individual intelligence is.  Not everyone’s intelligence lies strictly in mathematics or composition, yet as long as a student is able to meet the minimum passing requirement, a student will move onto the next grade level. Students whose intelligence is stronger in the fields of language or mathematics, the two most favored and pressured subjects taught in schools, are considered more smart than those whose skills may be in other fields such as science, philosophy or many other subjects. When a student’s grades are low, they are not in compliance with what the standard of classes has become.  Even if a student has little to no interest in the subjects they are failing, they are forced to comply to reach the standard of what the education system wants them to be.  Programs such as No Child Left Behind have been set up to keep students from failing, but they are only exceeding in creating replica students with no distinction and knowledge from one another, motivating teachers to teach these standard classes with the reward of money from the government if the school has a low failure and drop out rate.

The students considered “smart” are given more opportunities than the “dumb” students by giving them scholarships and grants to colleges and universities with higher reputations. If classes were structured more diversely, placing students with classmates who match their interests and intelligence levels, the level of students who are considered “smart” would rise exponentially, giving a broader range of students higher chances of receiving grants and scholarships from these higher reputation schools.  These students wouldn’t be judged and tested strictly on topics found in standardized tests.  Their intelligence would be calculated with tests and practices based on a students individual interest.  If a student has an interest in the arts, they can focus all of their learning on the arts.  Mathematics and linguistic classes should still exist, but only in a manner that teaches students exactly what they should know for their chosen career and life paths.  Standardized tests that judge students intelligence levels on topics of math and language would become irrelevant and pointless to students whose chosen topics of study wouldn’t need these subjects, such as those who want to focus more on art or logic.  The only use of the current standardized tests would be to make sure students are prepared for real world practices of mathematics and language, with basic algebra and statistics, which can help on things like taxes and business, and language skills that teach people to better communicate and express their ideas to others.  These classes are far from the only thing that can help create better-rounded individuals.  Classes focused on the arts are some of the best things a student can enroll themselves in to exit school as better rounded individuals, yet art classes are pushed to the side due to the fact that more academic based classes are favored in the eyes of the educational system.

Many students come to school for their art classes.  It could be their one and only motivation for regularly attending school, yet schools today fail to cater to the needs of these students. Creative classes help to strengthen a pupil’s critical thinking and problem solving skills.  They teach students self-discipline and determination while creating pieces of art unique to each individual student.  Performance art classes can help students to better communicate and work with each other, while creating works of art for many people to enjoy.  Performing art classes can also strengthen student’s literacy skills with the intensive amount of reading and memorization that can go into a script.  The arts are also very collaborative and can help to teach students leadership skills, problem solving and cooperative decision-making skills.  These classes help to make better-rounded students, which turn out to be better rounded people when the step into the real world.

Work Cited:

Why is Art Important?

Teach to Each Child’s Intelligence

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

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One Response to Causal Essay- Joseph Passalacqua

  1. davidbdale says:

    Joe, you’ve asked me to provide arguments that refute your basic premises so you’ll have something to argue against in your rebuttal argument. Rather than scatter comments on all your posts (Definition Argument, White Paper), I’ll drop a few arguments here for convenience. They may not all be relevant to what’s above in your Causal Argument.

    1. Creativity is not particularly valued by employers, especially in technical fields. They may be wrong to feel this way, but employers don’t care whether their prospective employees are well-rounded individuals whose exposure to arts and culture make them able to view the world from a rich perspective. They want to hire a candidate whose test scores demonstrate the ability to write code, or build good circuits, or mine data. Differentiating candidates by their backgrounds doesn’t interest them.

    2. You may complain that No Child Left Behind “creates replica students,” but what it really does is promote the simple goal of assuring that no student graduates who hasn’t met the simple goals of literacy and numeracy that our society values in every citizen. Of course students have different sorts of intelligence and can display them any way they like, but only after they’ve achieved basic competency in essential life skills, which are all NCLB demands.

    3. Critics who blame schools for not “developing the whole person,” or “respecting the different intelligences” of their students do not respect the tremendous pressure on administrators to deliver better test results in core subjects such as math, reading, and science: the courses that are scored for international comparisons. They point to America’s poor showing in those comparisons as evidence that American schools don’t educate well, but they use those poor scores to prove that American educators should spend more resources on courses that don’t improve the test results. In any system of rewards, participants will spend their time on the valued activities; there’s no incentive for educators to nurture anything but the curricula that their “success” is measured by.

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