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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Students need to take responsibility for their learning and education

Editor’s note: The author is a high school senior interning at the Daily Lobo.

opinion@dailylobo.com

Are students learning or are students just getting As? Today, success in school is measured by how high your GPA is, the higher the better. However, does this mean our students are actually learning?

As a high school student, I sit in class for over seven hours a day and I am surrounded by students. I watch as some students get As, but I can see they do not have a clear understanding of what they were just tested on. School systems have brainwashed students so they stress over getting As on their tests, but these systems don’t actually stress the value of knowledge. We have been conditioned to feel that doing well in school means acing a test and getting good grades.

I know there have been times when I didn’t know anything about the topic I was being tested on. Yet I still managed to get a B on the test, so I don’t feel that bad about it. This type of thinking is what is prohibiting students from reaching their full potential.

The learning opportunities that are being missed are crucial.

Teachers should not stress doing well on tests that will be forgotten. The concepts and the knowledge are what need to be stressed.

The only way to achieve this is by reteaching our students about what learning is. Students need to find self-gratification in their own grasping of the subject, instead of just the grade. The entire mindset of students needs to be altered.

This can begin at school with encouragement. However, it needs to occur in the minds of each individual. Students need to start taking some self-responsibility. They need to value their education and not the numbers in the grade book. The barriers of “pass” or “fail” need to be replaced with true understanding of a subject. Students need to stop memorizing answers and start synthesizing concepts. If students start having a longing and passion for knowledge and true learning, then school becomes a place to grow and strive.

At the end of the day, we are going to school to learn and obtain knowledge, not just get a gold star on our tests. High school students expect their teachers to spoon-feed them information.

They fail to recall that learning is their choice. The excuse of a “bad teacher” is the oldest excuse there is. Although there are very poor teachers who just cannot convey the points they need to, students need to take that responsibility to learn for themselves.

They need to feel proud of what they produce and what they know.

The attitude of most students today is apathy. This apathy is the hardest barrier to break when it comes to teaching. Even the best teacher cannot reach those who don’t care.

Students need to strive for excellence and strive for knowledge.

If they take this approach, they will create a powerful force of intelligence. This shifts the entire focus of the institution of school. The entire reason students go to class is now completely altered. Passion is becoming a rare resource students can tap at schools. But shouldn’t the place that equips us with skills that will change our lives be the epitome of passion?