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My journey through education!

Blog Post #2

As commonsense is a concept that varies between different cultures and societies, it is difficult to pinpoint a universal concept for what being a “good” student entails. A definition commonly perceived by people is that a “good’ student does exactly what is expected of them by their school. “Good” students show up to class on time and without missing school days, turn in their assignments diligently, and get good marks on homework and exams. Western society places a major emphasis on participation, attendance, and academic excellence. Other cultures have similar expectations of their students, but what they view as ideal or “good” may be vastly different in numerous ways. Franklin Verzelius Newton Painter notes in “A history of education” that education in Asian countries is designed to produce components of the already-established society rather than help build individuals. This, having been written in 1886, is incredibly outdated, but seeing the way Westerners perceived education in other countries is incredibly fascinating and helps understand how Western values and ideals came to be.

Obviously, with this definition of what makes a “good” student, there are a variety of cases in which a student may not be able to meet those expectations. Some students have learning disabilities that prevent them from excelling to the same extent as their classmates, while others may have difficult situations at home that prevent them from getting homework done or coming to class on time. Each case is different, and as a result, it is not fair to not consider a student “good” if they are barred from achieving these ideals through no fault of their own. Students that do not have such disadvantages are able to flourish in a traditional classroom and can be perceived by their teachers as being “good”, whereas those that need special attention or different considerations may not get the opportunities they need to truly flourish.

The model used by Western schools today is most definitely based on older models designed to educate only certain people and create ideal employees. It puts a major emphasis on arriving on time, participating, and doing exemplary work, which are all qualities valued in employees. Back when many students went on to become factory workers, these values were ingrained in them from a young age. Today, with society and the economy having evolved quite significantly, this model is outdated yet continues to be used to produce “good” students in a manner that benefits the privileged and does not give disadvantaged students the opportunity to succeed as well.

Work cited:

Painter, Franklin V. N. “A History of Education.” Internet Archive, New York : D. Appleton, 1 Jan. 1886, archive.org/details/historyofeducati00painiala/page/8/mode/2up.

2 Comments

  1. Tracy Hnybida

    July 21, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Amir
    I liked your thought and research into further defining the “good student” and the reasons that go beyond what we think a good student will be – considering those students who struggle, for whatever reasons they may have. I think that is one of the biggest problems within our education system is that we spend too much time on the students who meet the expectations and do not take into consideration how others learn and providing opportunities to showcase their learning in other ways. I have three children and each child is not only different in their personalities but in how they learn and how well they did in school. And that is just with my three, can you imagine a class of 30 students. So expectations definitely need to change. Thank you for your blog – it was extremely well thought out.

  2. Brittany Holmes

    July 28, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Amir,

    Great post!

    I also felt that the idea of a “good student” was dependent on where a student was being evaluated, as well as who they were being evaluated by. Not only do certain areas in the world have different priorities and plans for school and after school, but it is also made up of many unique opinions and expectations. I also brought up the idea that there was no room for those with learning disabilies under the “good student” standards. A lot of the expectations around being a good student emphasize the idea of doing whatever is asked with minimal or no adjustments. Can you think of any of Canadas standards of a “good student” that might include those with learning disabilities?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Britt

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