Posted August 13, 2012 by

Is Education Too Theoretical?

The purpose of everything is to accomplish something. Why do you brush your teeth? To get them clean, obviously. Why do you eat? Why do you work? Why do you exercise?

Everything we do has a purpose, a point. We do things to achieve and reach goals. So, why do we go to school? The clear answer is to learn. But, learn what? Learn skills so we can accomplish what?

Ultimately, the purpose of our education system is designed to produce competent skilled workers – people who will solve the energy crises, people who will lead our country and people who will create products essential to daily life.

This does not happen.

Our education system does not accomplish its main goal as often as it should, simply because it’s entirely way too theoretical and not practical.

Sure, it’s great that students know the capital of Kansas is Topeka or how to write in cursive. But, that does not help someone engineer cars.

At the college level, it’s great that students can form arguments based on ancient philosophical theories of Plato and Aristotle. But, that does not help someone recognize and maximize solar power.

And President Barack Obama knows this. “A world-class education is the single most important factor in determining not just whether our kids can compete for the best jobs but whether America can out-compete countries around the world,” says Obama on the official White House website.

Obama’s Race to the Top reform policy is focusing on accomplishing something with America’s education system, something much more important than just knowledge. It focuses on giving students valuable skills needed to compete for high-demanding global jobs.

Right now, the American education system is obsessed with testing. Students are constantly given aptitude and learning tests like the SSAT, to determine where they stand. However, these tests are highly theoretical and only test aptitude and not practical skills.

The education system is slowly moving away from these tests. Obama is encouraging every school to push science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields – and even offering financial incentives for doing so.

These are the practical fields our education system needs. And if these classes are taught right, students can actually learn tangible and valuable skills needed to make America the global competitor it once was.

We just need to look at education differently. We can’t look at test scores, grades or school performance. We need to look at the fact that American people drive cars made in Germany. We use electronics made in Japan. And we need to fix that. Whether we can or not will be the true sign of a successful education system.

This guest post article was written and provided by Janice Mitchell who is a stay-at-home mother and has homeschooled her children with the help of VarsityTutors.com for over 10 years.

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