School doesn’t prepare us for the future

Lyn Jarrell argues that school doesn’t teach kids anything that will help them in the future


Jahlea Douglas

Sophomore Lyn Jarrell is a staff writer for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in opinion and column writing.

Lyn Jarrell, Staff Writer

From the time that we were able to understand the words coming from other people’s mouths, we have been preached to about the importance of school and how we all need an education. 

But what do we actually need school for? 

Aside from the normal teachings of how to read and write, schools don’t offer much helpful “real world” educational information for our generation’s future to come. 

School itself is not the problem. However, the things being taught, or rather not being taught in school, is the main problem. 

Standardized testing, and thick paged textbooks are not the way to go about preparing us for the future. Nor is using an online textbooks on an iPad going to benefit us much more either. 

We are forced to go from learning basic math, to learning pointless algebraic expressions, and geometric formulas. Calculus and physics, are also pointless to the majority of the whole. 

Unless a teen is absolutely sure that they want to pursue a career that requires a knowledge of advanced math, then they don’t need to know anymore than the basics.

We only need to know the basic math skills, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. We have the technology to figure out the advanced math portions. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a creation that provides all the necessary information and resources for the things that are more advanced than the basic educational requirements. 

We have these search engines that provide the answers to our questions and provide the resources needed to those who want it. AI can solve the hard problems that require more work than what the basic educational skills support. 

The founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, said that “We should not compete with Artificial Intelligence, but instead focus on developing unique human intelligence.” 

Basically, he’s trying to say that we shouldn’t be focusing our time on teaching students courses in calculus, physics, or algebra, but instead, teach students courses that challenge their creativity and developmental skills.

Taking tests, focusing on giving students grades, and judging students based on their ability to obtain information should not be the main objective of school. In fact, those topics aren’t necessarily needed.

The future of our generation, is going to be mostly automated. We aren’t going to need to know how to solve hard equations, or determine the acceleration of speed. We need to know how to be a leader. 

We need to learn better communication skills and writing skills. We need to be taught things that involve real life experiences and/or real world problems. 

Many companies today , don’t look at grades or GPA. Many companies today, look for people that are able to follow simple directions, communicate with others, and knows how to add life skills into their daily tasks. 

Teachers and educators often ask themselves many questions. They wonder why the students aren’t fully engaged in the lessons. Why they are flunking classes.Why they don’t participate. Why they don’t care. 

It’s not the student’s fault. We are simply uninterested in what is being taught in school. We are taught things that we have no intentions of using , outside of school. 

We don’t want to be taught anything that doesn’t allow us to grow , and improve our culture and creativity. We want to be taught things that we know we will use, outside of school. 

We want to be creative and innovative. We want to work on things that interest us, as individuals. Scores on tests and GPA’s don’t define who we are. We all have so much to offer to the world that we will soon be fully part of. 

Robert John Meehan, one of the nation’s leading voices for the teaching profession, said,”Repeated testing will not teach students the motivation, character, and life skills, to ensure they will be valuable members of society.” Meaning that, all the tests and current curriculums, will not help us, or prepare us for our futures. 

John Dewey, a philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer said, “If we teach what we taught yesterday, then we rob our children of tomorrow.” 

In order to ensure that you are teaching students useful information, you will need to stop teaching students the same things over time. 

So teachers, start teaching us useful information. Teach us to use our creativity. Teach us how to be innovative. Teach us the skills we will need, in order to be successful. Algebraic expressions and other advanced methods that are being taught, are unimportant, in today’s world. 

Don’t teach us anything that doesn’t allow room for each individual to personally add their creativity. 

A group of 1,500 executives recently said that “creativity is the most important leadership skill.” Meaning that, creativity is important and is what employers are looking for in future employees.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Email Lyn Jarrell at [email protected].