Educational Apathy

Kayli Pinaire, Editor/Staff Writer

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If you ask almost anyone about reforms the United States educational system is an inevitable topic of discussion. From academics who’ve experienced their fair share of true educational injustice to elementary school students alike everyone has a negative opinion to share about our education system, likely rightfully. However, have we taken valid complaints to the level of falsely righteous apathy?

For many decades education has acted as not only a way to improve ones financial situation, intelligence, and possibly even class but as a way to effectively segregate society. Within classes we are bound to see envy, could that be the root cause of educational apathy? An ineffective refusal to participate in a system deemed unfair by the individual? Could it be based in our natural need to be superior or is it simply irresponsible to attempt to identify an individual cause in the first place? Agreeably there is inevitably more than one reason for apathy towards anything, education included. However, for this article  we will be speaking in generalization and will be looking at common reasons for apathy, there will always be outliers to these rules.

You’re back in second grade sat in a loud class, the teacher enters shushing the students, everyone quiets, except a couple kids. These kids would instead choose to ignore or taunt the teacher. Whether you were one of the loud kids or a child happy to comply, you likely remember a similar scene as a child. Children who complied often were set to believe children who did not comply were dumb or incapable of the material, further segregating the groups of children. Children who lack educational approval often search for approval in other forms, leading to the stereotypical “class clown” trope or acting out in other forms. With the total separation of ideologies between how the average educator would view education vs how the average student with apathy towards school would feel, work, and view the education system, a lack of understanding is inevitable. As well as this we can see a clear transfer of this ideological separation into adulthood into how education segregates socioeconomic classes. Not only through how much someone makes salary wise, but through attitudes. 

Here we move back to the theory of need for superiority. For many people in our society, especially men, admitting inferiority is a sign of weakness. So choosing to hate education or deeming it stupid or worthless can often be easier Than admitting inferiority. However, where have we gone wrong in our society that we allow ourselves to deem less educated, lower class, or poorer people as lesser people. 

If we want to reduce apathy towards the education system we need to change what we value in society. Once a diploma or cash no longer allows for a person to have access to better treatment or respect and respect is instead given for the work the person has done and character they encompass we will see a better tomorrow in our children’s  attitudes towards education as well as our own.