The first thing that struck me about the introduction to the Kohl/Shannon book, Education, Inc. was how it seemed to relate to so many aspects of my education, especially in high school. As a 1993 graduate of Beavercreek High School, I was subjected to various standardized tests, and I accepted this as just part of my required education process. Never once did I stop to think that maybe I wasn’t really learning anything at all, but just going through the motions and doing whatever the authority figures would tell me to do. It seems that nowadays, with the required standardized tests and the inevitable pressure that comes with them, students aren’t really learning much of anything compared to the way things used to be. The focus seems more directed toward memorization and regurgitation, which seems perfect if the desired result is a fresh crop of workers, or “drones,” willing to mindlessly follow orders and go about their routines without inputting a shred of creativity or imagination. I can still remember headlines from when I was in school about how certain schools were under so much pressure to increase the averages of their standardized tests. One incident comes to mind of a principal who bribed his students with cash rewards if they did well on their SAT’s. Meanwhile, the instructors whose desire and purpose is to educate and expand minds so they are open to knowledge are left to sacrifice quality for the purpose of a meaningless end result which leaves the student virtually no smarter than when they started. I shudder when I think of the Coca- Cola representatives showing up at my high school bearing gifts of “free” samples, and the students (myself included) not thinking twice while gulping down their liquid candy. No, this is not the reason I am becoming a teacher. I want to be a teacher because I simply want to teach. Being aware of the way things are not always as they appear on the outside is a great advantage, a…
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