Sunday, October 16, 2011

High school students are...

When you type "high school students are" into Google, it auto completes your result to "stupid" "lazy" and "poorly prepared for college."

Being a high school student myself, I take offense to this. Yes, we can be extremely lazy, but the other two are completely untrue. Calling us all stupid and poorly prepared for college is a hasty generalization (that's right, I'm applying what I learned in AP Comp). 

Looking at just are school, we are most definitely not stupid or poorly prepared for college. If this was the case, our ACT average would be much lower than it currently is, and there would most definitely be no one receiving 36 as their score. Another thing: Wayzata offers 26 AP classes. If students weren't passing the AP tests with a majority of fours and fives, they would not be offered. Stupid? I don't think so. Poorly prepared for college? Definitely not.

High school students are lazy. This statement is one that I cannot argue as a lie. Like Patrick Welsh and Mike Rose stated, high school students are lazy. They get bored. Motivation dissolves. Why is that? Why do high school students get in the "I don't wanna." mood and resort to making Facebook statuses complaining about school? In my opinion, what Mike Rose stated in his essay "I Just Wanna Be Average" was exactly right. Students get bored of seeing the same thing year after year after year. Take US History for example. We've been learning about the Mayflower and Pilgrims since...what, the third grade? The only difference is we don't get to make the awesome hand turkeys anymore (ripoff!). We're restless people, and it's no wonder we get lazy about going "more in depth" about something we've been learning about for years. What I understood from Rose's essay was that learning brand new things makes us want to put more effort in, and I think he is correct. 

Welsh argues that instead of just the school systems and teachers being blamed all the time, we should blame the students themselves, as well. After all, everyone involved plays a role in this. I agree completely with Welsh that students need to be blamed as well, but like I said, I think everyone plays a role. Sometimes students don't work hard enough, sometimes teachers aren't good at teaching. You can't pinpoint the problem on one party. What Welsh goes on to say is that students that have immigrated from another country tend to do better in school, with one subheading specifically reading "Asian vs. US Students."

This is the same argument that was presented in the documentary Two Million Minutes. Welsh brings up the idea that his Asian and other immigrant students did better than his American born students, acing tests while the American students brought home Cs and Ds. Why? Apparently most of them owed their success to studying hard. In the documentary Two Million Minutes, the overarching argument ends up being that while Chinese and Indian students devoted all their spare time to schoolwork and their studies, American students focused on other things as well.

I was taken aback by how the American students were presented, with the guy saying he did homework when he had the chance, and the girl saying she was going to be in a sorority so "there would be a lot of partying." Of course, the Chinese students mentioned how they loved doing homework, and the Indian students were working their tails off to get into engineering school. The documentary had a good message, but it was filled with fallacies and deceiving images. The facts and statistics used were unfavorably used for Americans, and people in authoritative positions at well known colleges were saying how America is falling behind. Coming from Pakistan, which is pretty similar to India. I know that those students work extremely hard to be successful, but that doesn't mean that American students don't work hard as well. Yes Chinese and Indian students devote themselves to school, but that ends with them not being as well rounded as American students. High schoolers from the USA have experiences with having jobs and being in leadership positions before they are forced to experience it in the real world, and that gives them an advantage in the long run.

I think being a high school student in America is very beneficial. My family moved here when I was six years old so that my siblings and I would have opportunities to do our best in school and reach our full potential, and I still think that we did the right thing. 

1 comment:

  1. I miss those hand turkeys!! And all the hands on activities we did in the younger years. I think they should bring them back, seriously, it would be a new way of teaching and keep students engaged. The only problem with it is it is hard to find hands on projects that are 1. educational and 2. something that high schoolers will actually participate in and like...