Originality and our Eucational System

Alfonso - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

What is Originality? As the dictionary defines it; it is the ability to express and think in an individual and creative matter. True, but now a day this does not seem to be the case. I believe that originality is more of taking a past idea and improving it. Take a look around, can you think of anything that is truly original. We seem to be living in a world of upgrading repetitiveness. Yet oneself is not to blame for this, society seems to be going in a wrong direction.

Take the education system for example. As a former student, I’ve experienced it first hand. It has been an education of not who can think the best but rather who can memorize things the best. Teachers are given standards by the state and are required to teach these standards to their students so that we perform well on the standardized testing. The teachers concentrate so much on these standards that they forget the essence of teaching; were bombarded with packets of work to do while the teacher sits on their desk, after a week we go over it, then have a test on it, and then continue that process throughout the year, something we probably could have done on our on time. A year later you try to remember what you learned in that class and your mind is blank. Also society has stressed so much the importance of grades, that it doesn’t matter anymore if you learn as long as you get the good grades, this is the problem of the education system today. One would say then “why don’t you take more challenging classes?” Well I have taken advance placement classes in which I did learn, but unfortunately not everyone has the ability to take them. Growing up in school you’re encouraged to learn and be creative and think individually, but the moment you do they view you as a distraction to the education of others? For example a few weeks ago our government teacher gave a fiery and intellectual lecture on the government and the Iraq war, causing students to think and debate; eventually they decided to have a protest. Within a few days word had spread and the students who want to join were going to walk during school to a local gas station. Of course it spread to the principal and as we expected he would not allow it, he even threatens seniors to not graduating. There was no protest but this comes to show how hypocritical our education is.

Therefore I believe that this problem in our educational system has altered the concept of originality. We should stop focusing so much on the grades and standards and focus more on learning, allowing society to truly think in a more individual and creative matter.