The Shortcoming of Schooling

Students differ in their learning ability

Kaitlyn Willard, Features Editor

I’ve always considered myself to be right brained, the creative kind of brain; ever since I was a little kid. I played piano, I would draw pictures with the most vibrant colors to complete my masterpiece. I always let my imagination run the show.

Now in high school, I notice my right brain more than ever before. Although my artistic ability does not play a large part of my life anymore, writing has always been something that’s stuck with me. I mean, I’m in Advanced Journalism for a reason; my love for working with words and articulating them in a certain way to tell a story. Unfortunately for me, this is the only class I have the opportunity to do so.

I’ve always felt that left brained people are more apt to succeeding in school. They understand, obtain and apply the material taught to them in a completely different way than right-brainers do. They know the difference between a right answer and a wrong answer. Unlike them, I’ve always been in a sort of gray area. Why is A the only correct answer when there are so many other options?

In order to graduate, high schools nationwide require core classes to be taken. This includes four years of math, science, history, English, language and so on. I completely agree that these classes are important, and students should be able to pass them in order to move on past high school. However, these classes are structured in a way only some students are able to succeed. The school has a path for us to take for our classes, but students need to go off road to explore what they are most interested in.

And on top of all these required classes: tests. These exams are supposed to measure how well the student knows the learned material. Well, not necessarily. Tests really only assess what students remember, not necessarily what they’ve learned. The difference? According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, to remember is “to bring to mind or think of again”. Learned is the past tense of learn which is “to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.” I can learn about the Revolutionary War, but when it comes to test time, it’s what I remember that will determine my grade.

A better option would be a written essay. If the student writes about the material they learned and how applying it may help in the future, not only are they giving a purpose for what they learned, but it will also evaluate how they obtained the given information.

I personally think that scantrons are a poor way to test the knowledge of students. In life outside of high school, are we really only given options A through E to decide which answer or decision is best? How does that prepare me for life? Why is that essentially the major way to test students which deciphers the grade in the class. The material being taught in the class should trump the test score one receives. Not everyone is a test-taking master. Some students have test anxiety, while others may have an attention deficit disorder such as ADD or ADHD.

The school system is has its flaws. Everyone is capable to excel within their school career, but school isn’t designed to aid to different styles of learners. Students are expected to sit through a class and learn.