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Is Standardized Education Necessary for Achieving My Career Goals

by Max Toohey (Australia), the first winner at the Fifth NinjaEssays Writing Contest

Standardization is present in the current schooling systems worldwide and the debate on whether it is an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to finding a career later is constantly on-going in the educational world. There are many claims against standardized education, saying that it is harmful to students and should be eliminated in its entirety, but this does not always seem to be the case. In, fact, there are many cases where innovation and educational success can solely be achieved by implementing standardized education in the learning system.

As a former student and a current career individual, I have been asked the question: is standardization in education necessary to achieve career goals? I have then made a list of both advantages and disadvantages of this system and came up with my final answer: standardized education is a crucial step in achieving the goals of a career, but should be implemented gradually and with utmost care. Why? Because no student thinks and learns the same and standardized education can often fail in illuminating the path of those who are really talented and above average when it comes to a certain academic area.

My methods are not to bore you with statistics and this essay has the purpose of being practical above being informational. Therefore, I will tell you a story that I remembered at the moment when I was asked about the subject.

I have studied at a state University where diversity could be found everywhere. Usually, I picked my classes out of a list of available courses, so the people in my classrooms were almost never in the same combination twice. This did not only give me the opportunity to meet some amazing people, but I also gained a perspective on how different people can be in different courses. I remember this tall, dark-haired guy with the most innocent face I have ever seen. I think he was the opposite of what my character is, but I had him in the majority of my classes. The fact that we shared interests in such similar areas came as intriguing to me and this was the reason why I had such a thorough observation on his behavior. After all, it does seem to have been a nice idea now.

People avoided my classmate because of his strange appearance and him not being very communicative. What no one really knew is that even though he was not the most open person in the classroom, he probably knew more than the teacher himself. I noticed him finishing the sentences of the professor in a quiet voice when no one raised their hands with the answer, but the teachers never knew this. I think that this person spent four years at University without learning anything new and no one was there to change this. His exams were done to perfection and if asked, there was not even a slight detail of any subject that he did not know about. This person was the smartest individual I have ever met.

I met my friend a week ago and discovered that he got hired in one nice, average company in the country. When I asked him how he did this, he said that they had a test for all applicants in order for them to be hired. Of course, he nailed the test and got hired immediately, so standardized education must have done something good. But, what would he have been able to know now if anyone paid attention? What would he be right now if someone noticed his uniqueness and taught him more? Because he could know more than what teachers teach everyone in the classroom. He could be amazing.

The obvious problem with standardizing path of educating is how poorly it serves those who do not belong in the ‘average' student category. This type of learning is based on thorough researches and is fixed to fit the needs of all students on a general level, but what happens with those who do not belong there?

Of course, a common system is easier to implement and this is the only way for the system to make sure that students are able to be acquainted with the most relevant information of an academic area, but I never stopped wondering – what would my classmate become if they just gave him a shot at the education he so long deserved? Standardized curriculum can add an advantage to career choosing because it offers an equal opportunity of being graded on one single system instead of being discriminated, overvalued or undervalued. I think that school has taught me everything I needed to know to succeed in my career, but did not give my friend the opportunity to reach the top as he was meant to do. The only thing it did was make sure that he was educated enough to make a decent living in the academic area he chose. It did not give him the chance to stand out.

Choosing where and how standardization should be implemented is a very complex and ambiguous decision. I cannot claim whether the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and the risks and this is probably the main reason behind the fact that this has been an arguing point for years now. My story is hardly exhaustive and thorough, but what I know for sure is that even though standardized education is very important for the educational system, it must be complemented by teacher's abilities to recognize the needs of the students.

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