Better Education in the United States

Table of Contents

Introduction

It is impossible to imagine modern society without education because the latter allows young people to receive basic knowledge of how everything works in the world. A country is considered developing if its citizens do not have sufficient access to educational establishments. However, it is a typical case in developed nations, including the United States, that many people criticize the existing educational system. Line Dalile is among them, and she tries to explain that the material that is presented in schools does not allow children to meet the challenges of the modern world. Thus, her work demonstrates that shifting the focus of education to creativity is reasonable since this approach will imply significant benefits for the whole nation.

Purpose of Education

One can state that schools provide children with the knowledge that is necessary for them to be fully-fledged members of society in the future. Curricula contain the information to be learned, and students are obliged to digest all the issues mentioned there. That is why Dalile warns that the purpose is limited to making children memorize standardized facts. As a result, children learn, study to pass tests, and forget everything (Dalile, p. 1). Consequently, many individuals grow up, and they do not understand why and how to apply their knowledge in practice. Such people will not manage to become prominent artists or innovators because their life goal will be to complete their education, find a job, and live inside a box.

The information above stipulates that it is rational to reconsider the purpose of education. Dalile admits that the schools of the 21st century will be effective if they teach students how to think critically and creatively (p. 2). The author provides examples of Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, and the Wright brothers, and explains that the most significant achievements in world history were made by people who thought creatively (Dalile, p. 2). At the same time, those people who dealt with memorizing information only saw the persons above achieve successful results. These examples should be sufficient to understand that the modern educational system requires some changes and improvements.

As a result, there are two distinct educational models suggested by Dalile. The first one insists on the fact that students should digest specified information because it will allow them to succeed in society. The second one, however, admits that it is necessary to foster creativity since it has proven its effectiveness for the whole world. Each of these models implies some strengths and weaknesses, and the section below will address them.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Models

When it comes to the model that focuses on memorizing, its main advantage is that students ideally receive much useful information. These data represent basic knowledge from various fields of research, including social and exact sciences. Thus, schools help children understand what abilities they have and what skills they want to develop in the future. Consequently, this educational model is considered a useful way for children to lay the foundation of their professional careers.

However, the fact above is in close connection with the main disadvantage of the approach under consideration. It relates to the fact that schools predetermine the future of their students. These individuals are taught that their main task is to graduate from school and university and to find a job in their field. The existence of this scenario significantly limits the opportunities or young and capable people.

Even though it has been mentioned that the existing limitations of education are its main weakness, it also implies a few other drawbacks. Firstly, it refers to the fact that the current “teaching methods don’t stimulate innovation and creativity” (Dalile, p. 1). The only necessary task is to memorize an answer and pronounce it when it is suitable. Secondly, the existing grading system results in essential adverse consequences. Dalile uses a specific example to explain it and mentions that if a child obtains an A+, they believe that they are talented, while children with Fs start doubting their abilities (p. 2). Consequently, the educational model that uses such a grading system can destroy passion for knowledge among numerous students and make them feel outsiders. Finally, the given educational model provides children with no freedom to express their thoughts and ideas (Dalile, p. 3). Children are given plans, schedules, and templates to follow, which means that they do not need to think creatively to solve problems.

At the same time, the creativity-based educational model addresses all the weaknesses mentioned above. When students are encouraged to introduce innovations and offer their critical points of view, they learn how to apply their imagination to decide complicated tasks creatively. Furthermore, if children do not fear that they will obtain a poor mark for their assignment, they work and study without any pressure. It is impossible to avoid mistakes at all, but if there is no essential punishment for making one, students are free to create. In addition to that, creativity is in close connection with freedom of action. When students do not have strict guidelines to follow, they can arrive at exceptional results, and the examples with Disney and others have proved it.

At the same time, it is impossible to state that this educational model is free from any defects. It relates to the fact that a focus on creativity can result in the situation that people will not have the necessary knowledge that is gained from the obligatory school curriculum. No one can claim that it is vital to know who discovered America or how many planets the Solar System includes. However, it is impossible to state that a person is well educated if they do not know answers to such elementary questions.

The Best Choice for the Nation

Since there are the two options, it is reasonable to mention which one is better. According to the information above and the work by Dalile, a focus on creativity is a more suitable variant. It is so because the future will witness even higher technological advancements, and people will have robots that will do all the basic work for them (Dalile, p. 2). That is why the principal purpose of education is to “ensure that the next generation will be full of inventors, musicians, painters, mathematicians,” and others (Dalile 2). For this scenario, this approach is more suitable than the existing one, because the latter teaches people how to cope with mechanical tasks rather than to solve problems.

However, the weakness of the creativity-based education model mentioned above makes it challenging to stipulate that this option will be the best for the United States. In this case, the country will have the citizens who can critically solve various problems, but who do not know, for example, fundamental historical facts and events. That is why it is possible to suppose that the nation will benefit more if the two models are combined. On the one hand, it is necessary to preserve a part of compulsory curricula that determine the theoretical foundations of education. Furthermore, when students try to digest this information, they will train their memory and analytical skills that are also significant. On the other hand, it is reasonable to bring more freedom to education. For example, it is possible to eliminate a grading system from a few classes, train creativity, and allow children to decide some situations as they want it.

Conclusion

Modern education fails to meet the challenges of the developing world, and some people stipulate that it is necessary to improve it. According to them, schools should teach children how to think creatively and critically instead of memorizing information and applying it to pass tests. Since the two models under consideration imply their strengths and weaknesses, it is impossible to ensure that one of them is the best option for the United States. That is why the essay has demonstrated that the most suitable variant is to combine the features of the two. In this case, it will be possible to both foster creativity and make students receive the necessary knowledge. I can present a personal experience in favor of the idea above. It relates to the fact that the existing grading system is a nightmare that often exposes me to stress. Thus, it is possible to conclude that I could have performed better in some classes if the system had not existed.

Work Cited

Dalile, Line. “.” Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 2012. Web.

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