In a society that is so focused on the final numbers we receive in our education, it is easy to get caught up in the final number instead of focusing on the journey it takes to get there. Throughout the poem “Students” by Tom Wayman, Wayman explores the different styles of learning shown by the students he has taught and realizes that in the end no matter what style of learning the student has adopted that all they ultimately care about is the number received in the end. We always continue to use knowledge we have learned in school throughout our lives, we continue to learn new things every day that do not relate to the number we have received on a page but to the previous knowledge we have learned throughout our lives.
Growing up it has always been told to us that good grades is what will help you succeed in life so lots of the time we tend to forget that the learning part is what gets you the good grades and help you succeed. Getting good grades to make it to university is the main focus of many high school students. I have heard on so many occasions from different students I have been around that there is no point of school because nothing we learn is of use in the real world. In reality we may not use all of the knowledge we accumulate in high school but what most students fail to realize is that high school is one of the main building blocks for university. We spend so much time trying to get a specific grade to get into university that we forget about all of the things we may learn that will help us when we get there. When Wayman speaks of the three types of learning he has observed one being the vaccination where the students believe that that once you are finished a subject you are immune to it. Many of the students in my school would support this belief; we are so used to teachers talking about the final grades needed instead of the actual aspect of learning. Wayman believes that the education system hasn’t changed and students haven’t either when he states “the wisdom of the students hasn’t altered though” when referring to the styles of learning. The dipstick theory that Wayman refers to I see most often in the students that are not interested in perusing post secondary and just do the minimum that they can. Most of these students fail to realise that the more they learn in life the better equipped they will be to handle other situations in future jobs and day to day life, much like the kung fu theory that Wayman puts forth. The last theory of education he speaks about is the easy listening theory. This one usually goes with the dipstick theory in my experience, as soon as the students feel they have learned enough they go into another world because they would rather be there than school.
The vocabulary used throughout this poem gets more difficult in the end when Wayman is speaking about the notation that a single number is worth more than anything else he taught the students. Wayman chooses to use words like “pedagogical” instead of just saying