22 January 2013
What High School Was and Is
Though we as adults come from diverse backgrounds and have experienced a plethora of individual challenges and experiences, Americans share a common milestone: high school. Understandably, attending high school in an intercity environment versus a rural setting may have an overall different social dynamic and psychological impact, but as far as the general goals of the secondary education system are concerned, it is pretty much a cookie-cutter process. Adults and children often share similar experiences today, even though we have advanced considerably in our ability to communicate, teach and access up-to-date information. So, how is it the experiences remain similar?
In Theodore Sizer’s textbook essay, ”What High School Is”, he depicts a typical day in the life of Mark, a high school student. Encompassing the challenges of meeting the academic requirements to graduate, the social awkwardness of adolescence, and dealing with the moral issues of friendship and integrity,Sizer presents the dilemmas students face daily as they trudge through their journey to become better educated citizens.What seems to be happening though is the system accepts mediocrity and students get by with doing the minimum. High school seems to be more of a social venue than a learning center. In general, people remember their relationships and social challenges more than they remember their courses.
Most states have optimistic goals set for their high school programs but without clearly defined goals, the education system is at the mercy of traditional practice which leaves much to be desired. Sizer shares that he sees high school as a solution to keep children safe and