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Schools Don’t Support Personal Development; They Distort It

03 September 2022
Schools Don’t Support Personal Development; They Distort It

In our culture, we put a lot of emphasis on formal education. We tend to believe that if we go to school and get good grades, we will be successful in life. However, this perspective is flawed for two reasons. First, the school does not teach us how to deal with many of the challenges we face in life. Second, schools don’t encourage personal development; they distort it. 

Schools focus on grades and degrees, not personal development.

Let’s explore these two points in more depth. 

First, the school does not teach us how to deal with many of the challenges we face in life. For example, schools don’t teach us how to manage our finances or have healthy relationships. These are things that we need to learn to be successful in life. However, schools don’t teach us these things because they are not part of the curriculum. As a result, many people graduate from school without these essential life skills. 

Second, schools don’t encourage personal development; they distort it. The reason why is that schools are designed to promote uniformity. Schools want all students to conform to the same standards so they can be easily managed and controlled. However, this perspective is counterproductive because it stifles creativity and individuality. No one stands out, and no one shines when everyone is the same. As a result, personal development is often hindered in schools. 

Third, the focus on standardized testing in schools also discourages personal development. Standardized tests are designed to measure how well students can regurgitate information. They don’t measure creativity, critical thinking, or other essential skills. As a result, students who do well on standardized tests are often rewarded, while students who don’t do as well are penalized. This creates competition among students and discourages cooperation and collaboration. 

Fourth, schools often hurt our self-esteem. This is because we are constantly being compared to other students. We are graded on a curve, meaning there are always winners and losers. As a result, many students feel like they are not good enough and develop a negative view of themselves.

Fifth, schools can be stressful and overwhelming. We are expected to meet high standards and achieve high grades. If we don’t meet these expectations, we feel like failures. This can lead to anxiety and stress, which can hurt our health. 

Sixth, schools can be dangerous places. This is because there is a lot of violence in schools. Students are often bullied, harassed, and even assaulted. As a result, many students feel unsafe in school.

Seventh, schools can hurt our mental health. This is because the pressure to succeed can be overwhelming. If we don’t meet our goals, we may feel like failures. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. 

Eighth, schools can be discriminatory. Students are often judged based on race, gender, or socio-economic status. As a result, minority groups often feel unwelcome in school.

Ninth, schools can be stressful for families. Parents often feel they pressured to support their children’s educational goals. As a result, they may feel like they are not doing enough to help their child succeed. As a result, this can lead to tension and conflict within families.

Tenth, schools can hurt our economy. This is because schools often focus on preparing students for jobs that don’t exist. For example, many students study engineering despite a shortage of engineering jobs. As a result, these students are unprepared for the real world and end up unemployed or underemployed.

In conclusion, schools don’t support personal development; they distort it. This is because schools are designed to promote uniformity and standardized testing. These practices discourage creativity, critical thinking, and cooperation. Additionally, the focus on grades and competition often negatively impacts our self-esteem. If we want to encourage personal development, we must rethink how we approach education.

encourage personal development personal development
Amara Weiss
Amara Weiss
Institute Secretary, Author

I am Amara Weiss and for many years I have worked in the field of education, specifically in the area of technology. I firmly believe that technology is a powerful tool that can help educators achieve their goals and improve student outcomes. That is why I currently work with IIENSTITU, an organization that supports more than 2 million students worldwide. In my role, I strive to contribute to its global growth and help educators make the most of available technologies.

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