Rethinking the Education Paradigm
The problem with our 24-hour news cycle and the inherent urgency crises which tend to focus heavily on the fights between partisans is that such noise can drown out the really important issues plaguing our nation, along with the policy issues which play a role in such. There are a host of problems with our public education system in the United States which never make air, thus decreasing the perceived importance while leaving our students, our teachers and the very state of our educational system out in the cold.
That doesn’t stop political parties from using “education” as a buzzword, offering platitudes about how better education will solve a litany of societal and structural problems in the nation – including creating a better governmental system as a whole, adding strength to the institution of democracy, better candidates for elected positions, potential booms in economic activity, a drop in unemployment, greater tolerance for diversity, and potentially less extremism as a whole.
Why the buzzword falls flat
The problem is that there is a massive difference between talking about educational reform in vague terms and really coming out with strong ideas which can facilitate such reform and give it shape. The actual dialogue about reform in the educational sector is exceedingly sparse when it comes to the actual content, sacrificing potential answers to real problems for sensationalism which uses “education” as a buzzword to capture people’s attention in a swirling 24/7 news cycle.
To truly rethink the educational paradigm, we have to rethink education. We have to look at the untapped potential of the students in all of our schools, not just the ones in our relative proximity or even just the ones considered problems to the greater whole. We have to ask ourselves whether or not our public education system is really giving each student the chance to maximize their potential. We have to be okay with the fact that the answer is “no,” and then institute a shift in thinking which goes past sensationalism into action.
What would mean to truly rethink the educational paradigm?
Due to the ever-present swaths of bureaucratic red tape wrapping our public education system, our schools are unable to truly innovate or be forward-thinking enough to meet the ever-changing needs of our student populace. That’s not only trouble for education itself, but it could very well spell danger for tolerance as a whole as outdated methods of teaching history or other disciplines sometimes reinforce bigoted stereotypes and cause irrevocable harm as students take such information as unquestioned fact.
To rethink the educational paradigm as a whole, we have to look at the regulations surrounding our schools and see which ones are suffocating our student populace and which ones are actually benefiting our students. Thusly, we can slowly but surely eliminate outmoded and outdated structural dissonance and really put the evolution and well-being of our students, teachers, and very futures at the forefront of the national conversation. Fewer buzzwords and fiery rhetoric in favor of more concerted and thoughtful action is the first step to a true rethink of our nation’s educational paradigm.