Life, the Universe, and Everything, how dull!

New data is constantly being produced that shows the deterioration of our modern school system. Unfortunately, it only points to the outcomes, and doesn't tell us why the system is failing. Thus, the politicians make their own interpretations, and se ek to pump more money into the system, legislate stricter guidelines for everyone to follow. These 'solutions' are ineffective, because they fail to tackle the true sources of the problem.

The lifestyles of a five-year-old of today vary greatly from the lives of those just 10 years ago. Today, Nintendo systems are abundant in the homes of children. Its games contain 'problems' that required simple logic to overcome. Just a few years b efore, the games were played on computers and required a greater amount of logic and 'thinking' to solve. Today, however, the kids demand 'quick solutions', and are unwilling to spend time and effort in the tough games, thus the game companies oblige. M ore objects make life easier for today's youth: VCRs allow them to watch their favorite shows or movies whenever they like, with very little effort. As entertainment has become easier and easier to obtain the value placed on it has steadily decreased. I n years past, youth could escape to a movie. Now, movies are all to common, and they seek to escape elsewhere. Thus, the increase in drugs use. In order to 'escape' from their present reality, they indulge in drugs, smoking, and drinking.

In an attempt to 'reach' the students, schools have attempted to add movies and other 'high-tech' innovations to their curriculum. Alas, they are always a little behind on their 'innovations'. By the time schools implemented movies, the students hav e already tired of them, and thus they serve as a negative driving factor in the school. They require just as much (if not more) concentration as the books that students used to read, but provide very little in the way of rewards. While a book opens man y avenues of interpretation and thought, a movie throws everything at you, and thus bores your senses. There is little 'free-time' for the brain to think, and thus the student fails to take in as much as he can. For, after all, students remember almost nothing that is told to them. Instead, they remember things that they 'discovered' themselves. Unfortunately the new education schemes attempt to thrust more 'mindless' processes at the students. They have a much greater multitude of information thrust ed at them, but much less time to think. Therefore, they aren't learning as much.

How can the problems be solved? Definitely not with more money. Instead, teacher certification should be scaled back, to encourage wide varieties of people to enter the field, if only for short times. The grading system should be restructured, to gr ade more on expended effort than actual results.

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