By: Alyssa Cimino
The students sat facing one another, their voices resonating across the walls as they discussed the lesson at hand. Light streamed through the window, highlighting their furrowed brows as they racked their brains for solutions, illuminating the small grains of those who discovered the answer. The teacher asked each group to share their thoughts on the topic.
As one student raised their hand to speak, a domino effect began as each person excitedly argued their points and mapped their way throughout the lesson. Mid-sentence, the bell rang and they reluctantly packed up their bags.
Unfortunately, in the 21st century, this is merely a fantasy and nothing more. This monotonous system shares the structure of a factory. Raw material enters the building (students), processed by following a strict formula (lesson plans) expected to be released as identical products. If you cannot conform to standardized learning, you reluctantly become unmotivated and struggle with self-esteem. One teaching formula cannot cater to the needs of every student.
We are creating a generation of robotic students who are forced to assimilate rather than embrace their unique qualities. Students have been judged on their results in core classes, but what happened to the creative artist and instrumental genius?
As a current student who has lived through this age of education, I feel that there is an agent for change. In order to rise above the obstacles that hindered my education, we must learn how to become an advocate for one another. We must have the mindset of thinking “outside the box”, who acquired knowledge differently. It is crucial for some to discover their own individualized learning techniques in order to succeed.
Utilized all of the extra help as well as create strong relationships with professors and faculty. Always be honest with yourself as a student, allowing teachers to understand your learning style; proudly standing out as opposed to attempting to camouflage with the rest of your peers.
So many students struggle with test taking but are positive class participants and strive to succeed. It is time we stop seeing students as their grades and start viewing them as humans with diverse strengths and weaknesses. Historically, people who surpassed boundaries were those who thought outside the box, we need more people like that in the world.
Now is the time to push our upcoming generation to be the next great innovators of our time, but it all starts here, at the root of life: education.