Editorial: Memorization trumps life skills in classroom under pressure
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Pressure applied can put a student into one of two categories: trying too hard and being pushed until one’s mentality suffers, or allowing oneself to be fearful of hard work and never knowing what it’s like to be pushed so hard.
This creates a double edged sword of disadvantages for society. A doctor may have strived all his life under insurmountable scrutiny by his parents to achieve his position, but he lacks the necessary skills such as communication with his colleagues, compassion for the patients and ambition in his job to perform it appropriately. All skills that he might lack due to school’s focus on the facts.
With the merging of new technology and education becoming ever more substantial, people lose the ability to properly express ideas with their clients. In any profession, the challenge is half having the knowledge, and half people skills. However, the values taught in schools do not always correlate to this.
On the other hand, there are kids who cannot bring themselves to even rise out of bed to attend school because they view it as either futile or an institution based entirely on tedium. No one benefits from this. Not teachers, not students nor parents.
Something needs to be done. Something that will connect both ends of the ever steepening bell curve, something that will provide more necessary skills in place of the memorization of facts and numbers.
Students are not receiving some of the most valuable skills that they might need in life. Yes, they could tell you the square root of a given number, but how well they will fare in an interview with a potential employer seems to be a better question.
So while you can have opinions until the cows come home about what’s right and wrong, you need to quantify them somehow. The problem is prevalent because it is not common for people to know where the distinction lies between overwhelming work and lethargic underachievement.
It should be accepted that this must be a personal boundary one sets within oneself. However, this limit cannot lie two steps from the starting line. It is better to work too hard than too little.
If a person does not have a limit to the work done under pressure that extends to the point where the work becomes productive, then the person is responsible for training oneself up to harder work until reaching a reasonable point.
Do not work yourself to the point where your perception of work is impaired, but don’t refuse challenges because of fear of exceeding your capacity for effort. Do not only take the right amount of time to expend yourself, make the most of it as well. Focus on skills that cement a place in society, not a test packet.