Essay on Conformity vs. Individuality in Schools

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As a student, I am often troubled by the rigid routines of the school day, despite the fact that I am actually a very habitual person. The constant ringing of bells, lectures, bellwork, classwork, homework, each a daily practice throughout the school year. Although all of these components promote conformity, which will ultimately support the balance of school and societal norms, they also tend to threaten each student’s own unique characteristics. This then poses the question; to what degree should schools encourage conformity versus individuality? Certainly, a level of conformity is required to achieve a balanced society however, the overall structure of the school day and class, including the methods used to teach and mandatory classes, …show more content…
This includes prohibitions against assault and theft or respect for leaders (Source G). Given that students are at an age where they are extremely moldable, it is imperative that they learn these rules in school. Looking at the actual amount of conformity present in schools, as opposed to the ideal amount, it seems that schools have moved past a healthy level to a point where students don’t often have to genuinely think for themselves. On a basic level, students don’t have to plan or use their judgment to ensure that they arrive to class on time. They become dependent on bells to tell them when they need to be in class and when they are late (Source B). On a more complex level, students rarely have to use their problem solving skills to come to their own conclusions. Learning in the classroom is typically centered around the memorization of facts and methods as opposed to critical thinking. Students are requested to learn the details and regurgitate them on test day, despite the fact that very little of it will be remembered later on. On the rare occasions when students are confronted by a critical thinking question, they often struggle as they have little practice in this area. If schools were to put more emphasis on individuality, where students could think freely and responsibly and contribute their own ideas, students would better themselves and society