The Problem with Modern Education

The problem with modern education is the prominent emphasis on math and science.

Continually, I’m told to take as many math and science classes in order to be succesful later in life. We receive yearly magazines from the state of Indiana for our grade; every year they talk about the importance of math and science classes. They say that if you want to get into a good college, or want to have an amazing job one day, that you need to focus on math and science.

But what about those who don’t flourish in math and science courses?

I know I’m one of those people. I love the humanities-and that’s what I’m good at. My favorite classes have been English Composition, Art History, Government, Speech, Newspaper/Journalism, Art, and Entrepreneurship. I love classes that allow me to think, analyze, interpret. I like to be creative. I love writing and I love thinking. But math and science don’t allow me to do those things. There is only one right answer, only one equation. Yet I’m continually forced to sit through courses that I cannot wrap my mind around. And those teachers think that everyone understands what they understand.

For example, I have to take 4 years of math and 3 years of science. I’m horrible and math and I’ve spent years continually beating myself up for not understanding it. I had a tutor and even that didn’t help me significantly. Math is something I will never understand and I came to that conclusion a very, very long time ago.

Then there’s science. The only science class I’ve ever been good at was astronomy and somewhat biology. But now I’m forced to take physics, and I don’t understand it at all. It’s probably the most difficult class I’ve ever taken. My teacher believes that everyone sees things the way he does. He’s an engineer and he sees things a lot differently than I do. I can’t wait until graduation when I can say goodbye to physics and science classes for the rest of my life.

While currently I’m planning on majoring in business, I really have no idea what I want to do with my life. I would love to go into management because I love leading people, motivating, and find creative solutions to difficult problems. But I could also see myself majoring in journalism, elementary education, social work, sociology, political science, really any of the above. There are so many things I’m great at and so many things I’m good at-I know I’ll find something. But whatever it is, it WON’T be anything math or science related I can say that.

So for now my main focus is not failing physics because I need to graduate. Regardless, I firmly believe that too much emphasis is put on math and science courses and too little emphasis is put on the humanities and arts-those of us who enjoy using the right side of our brain.

 

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3 thoughts on “The Problem with Modern Education

  1. hbmfl24 says:

    The reason there’s such a focus on math and science nowadays is because the US is continually falling behind in math and science scores on standardized testing compared to other nations. Since the US economy is based a lot of business and the technology industry, that’s sort of a problem.
    But I totally understand your feelings. I despise math and science, always have, always will. I had to take calculus my senior year of high school and it made me want to cry every day. I’m now an English major in college, and I’m loving it so far. People think I’m weird for choosing English as a major because it seems less practical than, say nursing (which is the largest major at my university). I’m told all the time that I won’t have many job opportunities after college. Which is a complete lie, because my major is actually very flexible. I can go into publishing, editing, journalism, education, law, linguistics, and a myriad of other things. I do have to do either grad school or interships for some of those fields, but they are options. My current goal is to teach English as a foreign language abroad (sounds way better than anything science or math related to me!)
    So don’t let the math and science get you down, and don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be good at something in particular in order to be successful. We live in a free country, where we have so many options for careers it boggles my mind to think about!

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    • Ben Sparrow says:

      While I do so hate to be profane, I fear that I must be somewhat so in reply to your first paragraph, lest my reply not be interpreted with the force and strength that I wish to convey. Screw other nations. Why, in the name of all that’s good and holy should I give a damn about what goes on in the classrooms of the rest of the world. What concern is it of ours. America’s the richest, most powerful nation in the world, and it attained this status without ever having concerned itself with how long it takes a chinaman to calculate pi. Regardless of what is said by standardized tests, there’s a reason that our economy is based on business and technology in the first place. In practical application we have never struggled, and there’s no indication that we’re about to start. What makes America great is that it need not play by everyone else’s rules to succeed.

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      • hbmfl24 says:

        Okay, a few things on this:
        1. I wrote this almost a year ago, so not sure why you felt the need to randomly start an argument now. Especially since my comment was in no way actually intended to assert some sort of opinion on the American economy, but was meant to simply encourage a girl who doesn’t like math and science.
        2. I was not bashing America. I was relaying facts that I read in an article on education in the US.
        3. It actually does matter how America’s education lines up with those of other nations. Why? Because economy, especially worldwide, is competitive. America has been at the top for a long time, but that does not mean that we’ll stay there, especially if our education falls behind those of other nations–who are competing to take our place at the top. America is good at practical application, that’s true, and that’s what’s kept us at the top of our game. But we can only apply what we know–if our education begins to fall short, people won’t know enough about technology to continue to operate at the innovative level that America is known for. I’m not saying this to down America. I’m proud to be an American and I’m proud of what the American people have managed to accomplish in the two and a half centuries it’s been around. But we do need to pay attention to education and the ways in which the system is flawed so that we can use that American innovation to fix it. Because if we don’t, we might not be at the top of our game for a whole lot longer.
        4. Sorry to the writer of this post for continuing on with what I’m sure will end up being a pointless argument. I promise to try to hold any more replies in :)

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