All of the income in the United States for each year is put into a giant pool and we hold a race to determine who gets what. The fastest fifth of the population gets 48 percent of the income to divide up, the next fastest fifth splits 23 percent, the next fastest fifth gets 15 percent, the next fifth 10 percent, and the slowest fifth divides 4 percent.
The result would be an unequal distribution of income, with each person in the fastest fifth getting nine times as much money as each person in the slowest fifth, which is what the actual distribution of income in the United States looks like. But to see why some fifth of the population must be poor no matter how fast people run, all we have to do is look at the system itself. It uses unbridled competition to determine not only who gets fancy cars and nice houses, but who gets to eat or has a place to live or access to health care.
It distributes income and wealth in ways that promote increasing concentrations among those who already have the most. But there has to be a bottom fifth so long as the system is organized as it is. To do that, we have to change the system along with how people participate in it.
There would still be inequality, but the fastest fifth would get only 1. People can argue about whether chronic widespread poverty is morally acceptable or what an acceptable level of inequality might look like. But if we want to understand where poverty comes from, what makes it such a stubborn feature of social life, we have to begin with the simple sociological fact that patterns of inequality result as much from how social systems are organized as they do from how individuals participate in them.
But antipoverty programs are not organized around a sociological understanding of how systems produce poverty in the first place. As a result, they focus almost entirely on changing individuals and not systems, and use the resources of government and other systems to make it happen. The easiest way to see this is to look at the antipoverty programs themselves. They come in two main varieties. The first holds individuals responsible by assuming that financial success is solely a matter of individual qualifications and behavior.
We get people to run faster by providing training and motivation. The system itself, however, including the huge gap between the wealthy and everyone else and the steady proportion of people living in poverty, stays much the same. In relation to poverty as a social problem, welfare and other such programs are like doctors who keep giving bleeding patients transfusions without repairing the wounds.
In effect, Murray tells us that federal programs just throw good blood after bad. Murray would merely substitute one ineffective individualistic solution for another.
If we do as he suggests and throw people on their own, certainly some will find a way to run faster than they did before. Liberals and conservatives are locked in a tug of war between two individualistic solutions to problems that are only partly about individuals.
This is also what traps them between blaming problems like poverty on individuals and blaming them on society. It does require us to see how the two combine to shape the terms of social life and how people actually live it. We must include social solutions that take into account how economic and other systems really work. Every paper typed by our writers is electronically scanned by a plagiarism detection utility and later manually reviewed by a trusted editor who is likely to spot plagiarized content.
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Service is excellent and forms various forms of communication all help with customer service. Dream Essay is customer oriented. Writer is absolutely excellent. This writer provides the highest quality of work possible. Education Through Reading And Experience. One of the most startling shortcomings of our current education system, is the lack of relevant reading.
We are forced to read A. All this does is encourage a distaste for reading. Then they will just be reading the latest trash. Our top priority must be to instill a passion for reading. The progress of humanity depends on it. For reading to complement education like it needs to, the books we read must be relevant to us. Not our teachers, not our parents, but us. Each book should be likened to a puzzle piece completing our soul.
All of which does nothing for us 10 years down the road. Over the past 4 years I have read close to books. Only 15 of those books being school related. My philosophy, my attitude, who I am today, all stem from the numerous books I devoured. Education is learning from failure. Education is growing from experience. Education is discovering your passions then pursuing them. Education is not rote memorization. Education is not analyzing books that have no meaning to you. Education is not wasting your time on subjects you hate.
Education is not being paralyzed because your afraid to fail. Having attended an international school in Shanghai China, I can honestly say I have learned more from bringing running water to a rural village in China, traveling to Russia, and making friends from around the world, then I ever have in a classroom. Education is meant to be enlightening.
Reading and experience are the key. Education is meant to help us find our passion, our purpose in life. Unfortunately, our current education system fails miserably. You have to go to college to be successful. After that you have to go to grad-school. Instead of embracing education many students including myself have adopted a mindset to just survive. All the education in the world is worthless if you never unlock what makes your heart beat.
Again, I have nothing against college or even grad-school for that matter. In fact I believe both can offer tremendous benefit to our being. Who says life has to be a linear line? The traditional life time line: Job you most likely hate: The latter sounds more enticing to me. Our current education system is inherently flawed. Without living out our passions we just add to the clutter of the world.
When we choose security, we sacrifice our passions, killing part of us in the process. I know I speak for millions of students around the world when I say: We need to be inspired. We need to be encouraged. We need to spend time doing things we love. We want to change the world. Is that too much to ask? So many students fail to realize their potential because a simple grade tells them they have none.
They receive a D and thus feel they are worthless and have nothing to contribute to this world. This defeats the whole purpose of education.
Education is meant to build not destroy. In no way am I suggesting getting good grades is a bad thing; that would be foolish. Getting good grades is not the problem. What are your thoughts on our current education system? What do you think must be done? I encourage you to share your comments in the comment section below. In no way is this post attempting to bash the educators of our world whom I am eternally grateful for but rather the education system as a whole.
You are a very talented writer and I completely agree with you. You bring up a VERY good point. Also, life sucks without challenges. Have u tried playing a game on the easiest difficulty? This challenge the challenge of getting good grades is a way to keep humans aged 13? Its that feeling you get when you finish an exam. Saying that, you definitely have brought some very important points in your entry, and I absolutely agree with you there, but like Kit said, you would not be able to write such inspiring posts unless you have received basic formal education.
Bud, I have always enjoyed reading your posts and it was no different with this post of yours. Though I do not completely agree with a few minor points, but I have always believed that its not necessary to be correct all the time, but it is necessary to question, challenge, and change; which you are never afraid to write about, and that is great. So many people obey the system, do well in school, get a good job, buy a nice car, and buy a nice house.
To dread life on Monday morning? In many regards, education is molded around getting a good job, and getting a good job is generally regarded as having a good income. As a result of this, millions of people have literally become slaves to their paychecks, and once they realize this highly disappointing fact, it can seem very overwhelming to get out of. We obviously all need basic education and I think a few of the previous comments miss the major point of this article.
Most people who base their lives on money will fail to find happiness while those who know what makes them happy will get much more out of life with just enough money to survive modestly.
The key is passion and this is what the education system needs to do a better job of inspiring kids to discover. Unfortunately, most kids are on autopilot until they graduate and need to find a job. I think you understood my message perfectly. Obviously we need basic education. Without basic education I would not be writing this blog. What I am suggesting is that our education system focus more on unleashing our potential and less about our grades. I definitely agree with what you are saying about grades.
Even some of my teachers have pointed out that the grade does not matter as much as how much you challenged yourself and learned. I also agree with Kit though. Grades are important in motivating people to go ahead and learn as much as they can before tests.
It teaches students about deadlines and about working on a tight schedule. Hopefully, students learn to use their time wisely so that they do not stay up so late. I also hope that students would learn how to not stretch themselves too thin even as they challenge themselves.
Knowing that you are being graded should also help to prepare students for the stress of life. Life will not be a walk in the park, even if you find a career you love there will be difficult times. Employers will rate you against others, and you will have to be determined to work hard to beat the competition. School, along with standardized tests and grades, helps to prepare students for the real world. I disagree with you greatly about reading. This is one of those situations where you must learn the rules before you can break them.
This can let them see the evolution of thought. Students can read any books they want, and when they are younger they are allowed to. That is what parents, clubs, and outside activities are for. A person has to find his or her own passion. I think that more parents should be taught how to allow their children to find a passion. My parents allowed me to experience most anything that I felt I had an interest in.
I found very soon in life that I have many passions. I love reading,, writing,, mathematics, science, and working with animals. Later in life I also found that I have a passion for helping people. I have known since I was in middle school that I wanted to put some of these passions together to find a career that I would love. I have also known since I was in primary school that I might want to be a veterinarian. I am about to start college to become a veterinarian.
I have worked hard in school, and I have not cheated to get through. You are bloody brilliant. I am years and years older than you and yet this is exactly how I felt in high school. School for me was like a prison and so archaic, dead and pathetic. I went into shock the day I realized that school was going to be my life for the next umpteen years.
I literally counted out the remaining years and ticked them off so many times. I really knew that I lived in a system that was very very ill.
I was bored, dying in school. I was so unprepared for the world that unless I stayed in the system, I had NO idea who I was and what I wanted to do or what life was about. I was at a complete loss. Step away from it and you are lost…at first. And with that stepping away often come judgment from peers, parents, teacher, church, state, etc.
A person is often looked down upon as less that or as something short of a vagrant. I chewed through it and line after line, quote after quote just blew my mind. I am so proud of you. I want the whole world to read this post. You are also gutsy. You have expressed all the things here that were my experience and my feelings. In fact I felt like you were writing my feelings, my thoughts, my life. I am old enough to be your mother and if you were my son I would be so proud of you I could hardly contain it.
I AM proud of you. I would see the genius in you, the intact soul in you, the free spirit in you, the great leader in you, the visionary in you,. I would tell you this: You are and will continue to change the world in a BIG way. Think with you whole body, with your heart and soul.
I encourage to be who you already are. If you ever doubt, just email me. You can see my website contact at http: So I congratulate you on your graduation from this survival course called school and cheer your ability to not only survive but to remain in tact. Well, it was NOT too long, too blunt or too anything. And beautifully written to boot, you have a very poetic style. Thank you my wise friend. I am honored to meet you. PS It would be cool to see an article about what changes could be made to revamp the entire system, A major project, and one that may really be about PEOPLE changing first.
Not sure, It sure would be fun to redesign the whole system or an alternative to it. Now I know why people home school their kids. In all societies, our education is one of our main agents of socialization we spend more time with our teachers and peers then our parents in young life. The current education system does just that, it teaches us how to be in our society, and thus we hit our first main problem- because our society is rotten.
We are being socialized to live in a society that is corrupt, and so are education must also be corrupt. The education system enforces such beliefs as this: As you can see, these are the same laws that have molded not just our education, but our society as a whole. For those of you arguing that Bud is committing hypocrisy by devaluing the same education system that also taught him the basics reading and writing, I disagree.
Look closer, Bud is not saying education is wrong, but that our current educational system is wrong. Education is truly a pure thing, and even the word makes it seem too industrialized. Homeschooling systems have proved easily that the big corporation of education is not necessary for children to learn the basics.
In fact, the homeschooled kids I have personally met have been much more literate. As bud mentioned earlier, a huge problem with education is not just what they teach, but what they do not teach. Where are all the classes on finding yourself? Where is the philosophy? Where are the classes aimed at understanding the human condition?
Surely as most of us has discovered, these things listed are of most importance. Id argue that this is left out of the education system for one main reason- If it was taught, society as we currently know would crumble. The greedy would have nothing to be greedy about. Many of the rich would soon find themselves poor in ways they could never imagine.
I used to teach. Have taught elementary, high school and college. Have taught all subjects, and found the grading system, the testing, and the need for teachers to report to chancellors and such in order to compete for funding has leeched education of, well, education. It is one of the reasons I stopped. That, and my teaching methods were unorthodox.
I refused to give grades. That made it much harder for me to find work. She has learned so much more. I do, however, remember the process of learning to teach myself, and learning what carries the most value for me. What the school system needs to do is teach kids how important it is for them to find their passion on their own. You are fortunate to know that you want to be a veteranarian. However, by knowing this, you are part of the minority of people your age who have even the slightest concern to know what they want to do with their life, and this is the problem!
Hi Bud, this is a great article and everything you have said is so true. I would also say the ages of in which we go to school is all wrong. I believe we should attend primary school just the way we do from ages 5 — 12 and then go out into the big wide world and learn something we are interested in. Then at the age of 19 — 25 we should go to uni, if we choose, and get indepth knowledge about our chosen path, but a uni course that is up to date and relevent to our chosen path.
Vin, I agree with what you are saying about people not understanding the need to find their passion. I still do not agree that it is something the school is or should be responsible for. Parents should be teaching this to their children. School is to give people the knowledge they need to be able to work toward whatever career path they enjoy.
I feel that to be happy in life a person should put their passions toward finding not a job, but a career. Alex, I understand your point, but as I was explaining to Vin parents should be the ones doing most of this.
Philosophy, understanding of the human condition, why we learn, and why we learn are things that should be covered through higher education, parents, and study done individually. These are things learned through life experience, not school.
I hope that you all understand I am not trying to attack anybody or say that their way is not the right way. I am only trying to explain why I disagree with some of the points made. I think this is a very good article with wonderful points. I think that most people are different. I get the impression that you have personally found a different purpose in life that is more meaningful to you than being a successful businessman or the like. Other kids fail out of school or get shitty grades because they are too lazy to apply themselves; and others think they are being rebels by making bad grades, but they later realize that when they are applying for scholarships for college, government jobs, etc.
I agree that everyone makes good points here. Another idea to understand is that grades do not always reflect the learning you receive in class. We learned different ways to learn; while we can learn quite a bit through life lessons, school helps us learn to learn by reading and writing and researching and listening to other people. School also provides us with the opportunity to meet all kinds of people in all of the different walks of life who are also trying to learn. I completely agree with you!
As a mum of 9 and having watched my elder 3 boys struggle… I believe that we place too much emphasis on academia! There are people out there who can, who have made it without an education! I have children who do very well at school and I can see the world is their oyster!
But your blog post has changed my thinking a little, as I was already on a path to self-discovery and I completely agree that you need to live your passions first and foremost! Do that and you will be happy! You have learned at a tender age what it took me nearly 40 years to learn!
As Rohan said, I am always enjoying your entries and your sincere idea in them. But this time, I have to say that I disagree with you. People do need grades. I have nothing against about their decision because I respect their personal decisions. However, I need grades because they motivate me to study. Why do I need to study? Every single task you face in real life is a problem that needs a solution. Studying is a way to train yourself to find better solutions for daunting problems you face every single day or will face in the future.
As a person who have been taught under Asian education system for 15 years until I came to Concordia, I would like to tell you that the education you have received for the past whatever years at Concordia is something like heaven compared to the education I had in Korea.
So do not whine and suck it up. Your logic and idea, at a glance, look really decent and brilliant. However, to me, it looks like an excuse for getting poor grades and have shitty attitudes at school. Yeah I have been getting really shitty grades for my second semester after I got admission for college. I have no excuse for that. How was your GPA? Are you a straight A student? You can do everything you want or things that you believe important in life while getting good grades.
Sorry if my words hurt your emotion, but I still love you Bud! Funny you asked my opinion on this. I chose to fail on purpose for a while just to prove that point. You are truly wise beyond your years. Too often people refuse to see this blatant problem with society. This problem needs to be addressed… NOW. You bring up a really good point with all of this, the education system fails to account for those with latent genius. It is of particular ire to me that someone otherwise altogether talented would be denied opportunities because of the inability to do well at a subject.
There is something to take from everything whether you like it or not, nothing is pointless. Learning means diversifying your view points, reading books that you would have never, on usual circumstances picked up, forcing yourself to work through every piece of busywork the system tosses at you. I have found multiple good books through required reading programs I do believe though that ample time should be given so that reading can be done leisurely.
That being said, learning and personal growth should always take precedent over grades, life is meant to be lived, and no amount of knowledge, money, or accolades are worth the sacrifice your passions. You choose your path, and the universe will enfold as it will. Thank you for writing this article, Bud, you have a gift, it really is just beautiful.
Bud, While your GPA may not be acceptable in the eyes of your educators you should be proud and so should your parents. You are brave to speak out about a subject many would be too afraid to discuss. What you understand is that our current system of education can not continue as it is-it needs transformation. The old systems can no longer sustain this coming transition. It will be up to your generation to help the most in this process.
Big changes like this are not easy and many will be fearful of the letting go of the old ways-they seemed to work so well in the past and why change what is working? See you are right about needing to find your purpose and learning about what YOU are interested in. Many here have made some valid points about reading.
I believe the ancient texts are important but if students were studying their interests and were passionate they would naturally find their way to those important readings. Keep in mind that change is difficult for most people. Our new world will need thinkers like you. People that use the right sides of their brains, people who are creative, compassionate and wise. You are wise beyond your years and I would bet you are much smarter than that GPA.
Best of luck to you my friend, this world needs more like you. Did you do these things through your high school, or did you do them independently, while you tried to discover your passion? Did your teachers discourage and impede you from learning through these experiences? Did the institution discourage you from becoming and active global citizen and reflective spiritual being, or did it present opportunities for you to find who you are?
Our current system of education is a dinosaur, no doubt. Colleges future graveyards for sure. At least if nothing changes. Your experiences are richer than a classroom can cap. Your life will reflect that. I feel the same way about grades. I am an elementary school teacher and I will need to write the final term report cards soon. I simply want my students to live up to their potential. But if you can get an A and you choose not to do your best work, then you are only shortchanging yourself.
We should all put in a solid effort at school and in our jobs. We will see the rewards of doing so and the pride we can feel in doing a good job. This passage is amazingly written, inspiring, but in my eyes misleading. You are forgetting a whole side of education! You attend high school in Shanghai, as do I. They can teach you the basics but unless you strive to find what makes you inspired, it will all fall to nothing.
I am always going to my teachers with random questions, and they are always more than happy to keep explaining until I have an answer that makes sense.
You comment on the style books we read in school, but something I find with my classmates is they forget to think on their own! All books can in one way or another can always teach you a lesson, either good or bad… It just depends on how much you look into it!
Maybe in a few of those cases the schools hold them back, but as a whole its the students doing. If you want to learn you have to try, and to try you have to experience. Maybe this has to be done out of school but learning who you are is easier with others. I know my school is amazing at giving me experiences, but where they fall short I make sure to fill in on my own!
School is what you make it. If you look deeper than that, past the grades and work hard to do your best just because, you would learn a lot more than any class can show. Thanks for all the wonderful comments guys! We have been able to see a variety of different perspectives which I think is wonderful for growth. For those who have a different take then me, I appreciate your insights. By no means do I have all the answers. I would first like to say that I have been lucky enough to have a few wonderful teachers in my high school career.
These teachers are special to me because they helped me look past the social conditioning of the system. This post was crafted to make you think, and I think it was successful. We learn a tremendous amount from immersing ourself in perspectives that we may not agree with. There is nothing wrong with getting good grades. Passion over grades any day. Obviously my education, both the good and bad, has had a great role in shaping the person I am.
I feel lucky to have been introduced to such a life. When I finished reading your entry, I thought I completely agreed with what you had to say. If you had straight As and a 4. I know I personally complain a lot about how too much emphasis is put on grades and academic achievements, and I agree with your reasoning, to an extent, but I think I complain mostly because my grades are mediocre and honestly, I think you complain for the same reason.
But without basic education, you never would have been able to write this entry. Good grades reflect hard work, determination, intelligence, and capability. I agree that the service interims and the trips to foreign countries affect us more than anything we learn in the classroom. Life experiences are ultimately what will enrich and shape your character, but education is what prepares you.
The real problem with the educational system is that it not only teaches a lot of memorization and has too much emphasis on test-taking, but also that it fails the students who do not learn best in the methods that are taught.
Keep up the search Bud, keep sharing your story. It is the biggest money maker out there. At the first glance, it seems about okay. They offer small classes, a beautiful campus, a variety of acitivies, and a diverse environment.
Some might consider that to be a great deal. But when you delve deeper into the actual educational system, you see there are numerous flaws. Also, the dorm fees.
Not including the stuff you actually have to get to make your room livable. I am taking courses in different schools that charge significantly less for the same course and the credits can also be transferred. Also, when you apply for a school, consider what your money is funding. What are the intangibles of education? You mentioned the stress of high school.
I remember feeling that way as well. However, the intangible qualities of attending to your duties as a student are a small step in the preparation for life.
You mentioned being forced to read literary works that are difficult to understand. They make you think. Would you close that door without a thorough examination of what was being taught? If you can do them well and to the best of your ability…I would call that being successful.
You are an excellent writer. Work hard at everything placed before you, no matter how much you hate or disagree with it, and you will be surprised where life takes you. I graduated high school with a 2. Although I dropped out of college for a time, I graduated with a 2. Nine years later I earned an M. Always good to hear reflection from a student in the system. Otherwise we teachers will think we are doing everything right!
I had a similar life experience HS, but looking at it now I see it as a place to learn a set of skills that you can then later apply to whatever you find interesting. For me it has been HS, College, Job it was boring Grad School, Job teaching is seriously fun even after 15 years and then that death thing. Looks to me like you are going to achieve great things in spite of your education. Maybe you could become a teacher and help us try to change the system from within?
Yes, the degree is important, but I wonder which holds greater value—the degree coupled with grades or the portfolio what I can do—failure and success? Bud, thank you for your insights and please continue to raise the flag. John Dewey tried almost a century ago….. I will print this blog post out and it will be read the first week and last week of school for as long as I teach.
I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to your future writing. I would love to collaborate with you on some sort of media version of this piece. Check out my work: Oh, by the way, this is what really determines our future: Ok, I likely seem like a spammer now, but somebody mentioned Ken Robinson. Here is a great TED video of him: What a thoughtful post! It seems both you and I have had an education that feels that way.
But I think you hit the issue at the core, it is the system itself that seems to suck the life out of students at a young age. As you eloquently said,. Marks seem to take our attention away from what matters. Okay first this is a great blog post.
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Feel-Bad Education: And Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling [Alfie Kohn] on ct4uc3541.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Mind-opening writing on what kids need from school, from one of education’s most outspoken voices Arguing that our schools are currently in the grip of a “cult of rigor”—a confusion of harder with . A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah
Why is India still a developing country and what is stopping it from being a developed country? This particular question strikes me every time when I read something about India’s education system. Becoming a Core Ninja is AWESOME! I am former classroom teacher and now a curriculum developer for a large education company and I want to thank you for sharing this great resource!