Students are our future: school system needs to evolve


Nathaniel Rudolph

A group of freshmen sit in a traditional-style class on Thursday afternoon. Schools should look to engage more students with collaborative activities and meaningful learning.

Nathaniel Rudolph, Editorialist

Since 1837, we have used modern schooling to educate children and adults to prepare them for the future. Every day we send kids to school for several hours, teaching each student the same things, but have we ever considered what each child has to offer this world?

I fear we are preparing students for the past and not the future. In the future, most jobs will be automated, requiring students to be innovative, creative, and hold the ability to connect with others.

We can’t keep teaching the same curriculum to every student; each student has a different dream and we need to be able to teach them based on their needs. I know math and reading is necessary, but for our future to succeed, music and art should be just as important.

The modern-day schooling was created for factory workers, which explains why students sit in straight rows and have to raise their hands to speak.

Some teachers are trying to fix this, with group work and online programs. However, we need to put learning first instead of test taking.  A test might show how many facts a student got shoved inside of them, but it will never show their worth because they have to show their worth in the world using their knowledge. Just preparing students for a test is not learning; learning is the ability to connect what you learn to the world around you.

We are moving forward with programs such as Khan Academy and new curriculums that focus on new ideas and collaboration, but it’s not enough.  There are no limits to what we can accomplish to make schooling better.

If a student that wants to pursue engineering, it’s understandable that he or she will have to have the ability to higher math classes and reading, but that engineer will accomplish nothing without the creative and innovative mindset. Over 1,500 business leaders around the world said, “Creativity is the most important leadership skill.”

We need to focus on putting collaboration instead of competition as our top standard, because we need people that can work together to solve problems, not compete to solve them. Take millionaires and billionaires, for example: if they stopped competing for money and instead, put their money together, we would be solving world hunger, climate change, and who knows what else.

Our school system is old and expiring. Countries in Europe are doing impressive things; they are focusing on collaboration and homework is extinct.  I believe in a world that can work together and collaborate, solving real-world problems, where educated individuals put their knowledge to use. In the future, no one will look for the facts and knowledge you know, they will look for what you can do with the knowledge you have. Let’s make every day one where we as a society can do better and change the way we think and interact with others, helping every student and teacher truly live.