The education system has always been focused on one thing: getting students to have more knowledge. Along with this goal comes many educational strategies. Homework, notes, quizzes, tests, labs, projects, grades, etc are all tools that are used by teachers in order to teach their students.
However, it is commonplace to hear students complain about homework, tests, or anything else their teacher assigns. Many of my peers consistently complain about the amount of work they receive from their teachers, and the pressure to do well from their parents.
I didn’t really think much about it until this year, when I took up two tutoring positions. It wasn’t until I began trying to help students that I realized how ineffective such assignments were to certain people. Sometimes, students just take the notes or do the homework for the sake of getting it finished, leading them to forcefully output work that resembles poor effort and little creativity. Such patterns causes students to hate attending school, and hate particular subjects in school.
And as I tried to help some of these students, another thing became clear. The naive and cheesy “try harder or study more” lecture produces negligible effect.
The problem the education system faces today, which is perhaps also a problem that it seems to be completely blind to, is that students simply aren’t motivated to actually learn the subjects at hand. Students today are motivated by a fear of failure, instilled in them by the people who preach that not going to college results in life without a home.
There are very few students I have met who truly have a passion to learn. Despite the fact that the people who truly passionate about what the learn may not receive the highest grades or get accepted into the top performing colleges, those are the people that I would put my money on for becoming the next wave of entrepreneurs and innovators.
Learn to appreciate the opportunities you have. Learn to ask questions and explore the subjects that you have access to, beyond what is required of you by the state. Because education is not there to turn young people into mindless, trivia cramming zombies, but a way for people to explore the universe around them. Learn to use the education system to accomplish your goals before you try to accomplish theirs.