What’s wrong with school?

There is constant chatter on the embarrassing quality of schools across the vast majority of our planet’s countries. This is a chatter-organising attempt in fourteen structured—yet not in order of priority—points of what and why.

In an attempt to justify disagreements, this list is based mostly on my personal experience with the few schools I went to, in the one—Western, first world—country I went to. Surely, different schools do exist with different practices, yet I do imply that what follows is very common.

Schools are awfully rubbish due to:

  1. Lack of student autonomy. Every part and limit of the student’s behaviour is defined a priori. Their exact location during school hours is predetermined. Periods of sitting and standing are decided almost by law. Predefined hours of being inside and outside. Predefined and forced single viewpoint: written in the approved book, expressed from the teacher, established by the legislator. Even further: students' thoughts are mandated to follow and adopt their teacher's thoughts at all times.

  2. Failure in diversity management. Not everyone has the same talents, skills, background, desires. Yet, not only is everything already defined, but it's also identical for all. Even if people’s characteristics coincide, the timing may not. Still, in the eyes of the educational system, same age means same person.

  3. Lack of teacher autonomy. Defining teaching material by the state might had been a good idea in the past, but now, all knowledge is available to everyone—for free—and that changes everything. The role of the teacher is—and has probably always been—nothing more than the role of a repeater. It doesn't have to be this way, and a usually small creative set of teachers demonstrate and prove this daily. Forging teacher homogeneity to shield students from bad teachers has resulted in the total restriction of teachers. Inescapably, this has lead to total lack of creativity and teaching becoming a lifeless transfer of information, as opposed to the achievement of quenching one's thirst for knowledge. It is undeniable: one cannot have the power for creation without also having the freedom for destruction.

  4. Lack of teacher quality assessment. Measuring is fundamental to improving. Absence of improvement inevitably leads to absence of skill.

  5. Lack of regard for the teacher's responsibility towards society. The importance of the work of the teacher is monumentally undervalued. High quality teachers are intrinsically connected to more educated society members. Extremely important propositions cascade from this. For instance, higher quality representative democracy due to better educated voters.

  6. Blatant ageism. Adult teachers teaching young kids, ad infinitum. Even kids teaching kids was too bizarre to consider.

  7. Pointless curricula size. The amount of knowledge “taught” to students in primary and secondary education is preposterous. Both in terms of a twelve-year educational system and in terms of continuous learning for six or seven hours per day everyday. The glaring evidence of such unsustainability cannot be overstated.

  8. Pointless curricula content. The cybernetic network humanity is part of makes every piece of information available in a few seconds time. There is no point in learning information; there is point in learning fundamentals.

  9. Irrelevant methods of teaching. Lifeless lectures, indifferent presentations, eternal monologues, stressful exams, digitally-assisted learning, interactive learning; mostly rubbish. True learning happens alone; and usually with boring tools.

  10. Total disregard for art. Virtually everything is revolving around STEM. Art, in any form, is completely disfavoured by everyone: teachers, students, parents, lawmakers. Art's timeless honesty perpetuates the human era since its inception, yet it was deemed unworthy for the intellectual foundation of new humans.

  11. Partial disregard for the humanities. Along with its aforementioned conceptual subclass, human disciples have fallen out of favour, as being ineffective in building wealth—the core value of our imaginary.

  12. Total disregard for physical knowledge. Disturbingly small amount of school-approved time on exercising, sports, or any other bodily activity.

  13. Existence of homework. Even the most hard working professions allow for leisure time at home.

  14. Limited societal framework. Students learning from teachers in a restricted facility for an extraneously-defined set of hours per day. School has been shaped as a silo, when it could have been shaped as an essential integrated part of everybody's—even non-parent non-student adults'—societal life.