Sunday, January 16, 2011

College vs. High School (Comparison Essay)

High School Versus College
Mark Twain was once quoted as saying “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”  Mark Twain knew the importance of being educated and placed a high importance on never allowing his mind or body to stagnate.  In today’s modern society the two forms of education most popular are a high school education and a college education.  More people than ever are striving to better themselves by achieving some form of collegiate education.  Going through both forms of education has shown me the many similarities and differences between both forms of structured education.  The main differences I have acknowledged are self discipline, structure, curriculum, and teaching methods. 
            The self-discipline required to be a successful college student academically is at a much higher level than that of the required self-discipline of a high school student.  College professors put in the effort to instruct the students as best they can but they realize it is up to the student to put in the work and have the desire to educate themselves on many levels.  This makes it very possible to either learn a very large amount from a class or a very small amount.  High school is a much different atmosphere.  Teachers are put under guidelines for student achievement, this at times causes the a teacher to nurture the students which in truth just hinders the growth of the students academically.  
            The structures of high schools and college vary greatly.  High schools are far more disciplined, scheduled, and structured.  The students in some cases are treated like mindless sheep kept on a very time oriented schedule.  The schedule is the same each day and the student is expected to have excellent attendance and faces disciplinary action if attendance protocol is not met.  College is a very different story, the approach of colleges towards structure and attendance is much more relaxed.  If you fall behind in a class because you have poor attendance they consider it unfortunate and expect the student to find a way to catch up on work.   Faculty won’t coddle the student into coming to class.  The students may have a different schedule for each day of the week and they are expected to be able to handle their day to day work accordingly.  The difference between a senior in high school and a freshman in college my only be months of age but the way they are treated is comparable to that of a child to an adult.
            A college education is something that many people believe opens up opportunities never known to the uneducated man.  While in high school the goal is to get a broad education of numerous subjects so when you reach college you can narrow down your interests, your talents, and your dreams.  A college curriculum may differentiate greatly from that of a high school course load.  When in college most students have a general understanding of what they may like to focus on as a potential career so their courses reflect that.  In high school all students take the same standard classes of English, math, history, and science.   Of course some sub divisions of those classes are available but the majority of students don’t focus on a career path until college.  This is what makes the difference in curriculum so great.  You may have on one side of you someone with asperations of becoming the Fortune 500 company owner and on the other side someone with dreams of owning their own clothing line.  In high school the goal is usually more about just reaching the college of your preference.
            There are thousands of teaching styles professors and teachers use.  Each person is different and therefore has their own idea of what their class will respond to and learn from.  In college I have found that teachers often times focus on their strengths whether it be lecturing or using personal experience while in high school the majority of my learning was very scripted, impersonal, and bland.  The teaching styles I have experienced in college have helped me enjoy learning much more and on many occasions I have felt like I was able to envision myself in the professors personal experiences.  This ability to relate was something I never found in high school.
            College and high school both have their place in society and are both incredibly influential in shaping the generations of tomorrow.  Regardless of their differences they both are responsible for teaching students and providing a backbone of education.   George Seville put it brilliantly when he stated that “Education is what remains when we have forgotten all that we have been taught.”   Without education the world would have nothing. 


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