Societal Pressures: Education

There is no doubt that society as a whole pushes the younger generation on a certain route through life. Whether this is because it is the correct way on average to go through life or not is the best question to answer. Societal pressures do change with the times, but do they change enough and do the life routes we get pushed down really our us in the best stead for our future?

So, to start what I hope will be a series of posts about the many pressures that society provide us with, let’s talk about education:

You hear a lot of people saying that school does not teach the right things. It doesn’t teach you about paying taxes and it doesn’t teach you about real life lessons. Even sex education is lacking and with recent removals of lessons about gay rights shows that perhaps we are educationally not living in the 21st century in some respects.

I agree with this point of view in terms of financial education as well. With money being almost everything in life these days, surely it would make sense to have a financially literate younger generation so that they can boost our economy from their own homes. This does give me a reason to believe that society pushes us into an education system that is not necessarily best for us.

Financial Education is one of the things you MUST teach yourself

Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t educate ourselves. Of course not, given I preach the idea of education every single time I write. However, what I am saying is that the education system has not adapted to the changing ways of the world, and many of the richest people in the world are those who taught themselves after dropping out of college or university. Surely this says something about the way education works, and how ambition and experience are perhaps the better qualities to foster than simply grades.

I think what has been drilled into our heads from the moment we could walk and talk was the idea of following the standard path:

  1. Do well in school
  2. Get good grades
  3. Get into University
  4. Do well at University
  5. Get a good job

Many of the older generation tried their best to follow this path (perhaps excluding University, which is more available now) and it has worked well for them. Pushing us to follow this path is definitely well intentioned, it worked for them so it will work for us is the idea.

The problem is, we live in a completely different age now. Society is changing at a faster rate than ever before, and more of us want to create our own jobs, instead of just following a prescribed by the elders passage. Despite this, we tend to need to follow the path at least to a certain point. It’s difficult to get a job nowadays without the piece of paper from university, or at least some good A-levels.

You can take the apprenticeship route, which honestly should be promoted more (in my opinion this could be the best way to improve your mental capacity), but this means you lose the opportunity to get a degree. The opportunity costs balance out in an annoying and time consuming way.

Now, on to Higher Education, the bane of many of our lives. In my opinion, the university experience is great, but the way of teaching is completely behind the times. We get pushed into what is meant to be the highest level of formal education we will experience, yet the course gets taught through straight speech with the occasional bit of class time.

In my course, we more or less get talked at for 2 hours per module per week, and then sit in silence during the class time as well. In the technological age, the main technology used in the classroom is POWERPOINT. Surely there is a better way to grab the attention and teach more tailored courses for our wants.

To conclude, Society definitely forces us down a path towards what is thought to be our optimal education. Some people really don’t suit this form, yet are punished for their inability to follow it. Once the education system adapts to suit more people, perhaps we could have more people enjoying their education, and thriving compared to their current struggles.

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