Cause and Effect Essay: What Causes Students to Think College is Boring?

boring college

The educational system in the USA is idealized by foreigners, because they think it inspires creative thinking. The college curriculums are flexible and students have an opportunity to choose the classes they want to attend. Creativity requires divergent thinking, and that’s exactly what’s missing in this educational system. Students are placed within a mold. They are required to distinguish themselves, but no one tells them how. As a result, most of them have an impression that college education is boring and numbing. According to Kyung Hee Kim1, the level of creativity in the USA has decreased since 1990, and the reversing trend continues to develop. Most U.S. students don’t have a problem with learning; their frustration results from the fact that the system requires them to study information they are not interested in.

The main cause of the fact that students perceive college education as boring has its roots in early education, which is too general and impersonal. Students are urged to memorize data and dates without being presented with a clear image of concepts and events. Every child has unique potential that makes him different from other students. If the system encourages this student to realize that potential, he will be able to reveal his dreams and follow particular goals towards the higher education. However, the schools, classes, textbooks, and teachers put all children in the same pattern. They need to learn the same lessons, their knowledge and intelligence are measured according to universal principles, and they have to take standardized tests. The students who memorize more information are considered smart. The responsibility of helping each individual to discover his own interests does not belong to a teacher’s job description.

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Since early education does not promote creative thought and individuality, students are tied down to the materials served in their textbooks. When they study for tests, they are not thinking about coming up with creative answers; they try to memorize as much information as possible in as little time as possible. The American system of higher education differentiates narrower professional training that may last from one to three years and results with vocational or professional degrees; and regular undergraduate studies at college. Since students are not encouraged to discover their true interests during their yearly years at school, they fit into the conformist expectations and opt for college. The ones who still haven’t manifested interest for specialization need to take different classes and feel the pressure of the choice they have to make. They have difficulties to pay attention to the information that’s being served, and they believe that the professors are the main culprits for this aversive state. The homework routines add to the trouble: even the most intriguing topics are uninspiring for students when they realize they cannot fit their creativity into the rigid form of academic writing.

College students justify their boredom with the numb instructions and curriculums. However, the essential cause of boredom is lack of engagement. Although college professors use different tools, apps, and teaching methods to encourage their students to participate in the learning process, the underlying problems prevent them from achieving success. The only way to prevent genuine boredom is by focusing on the individual instead of the group. Each student has different needs, aspirations, and learning capacity. The ones who get bad points on tests are not necessarily less intelligent than the others; they simply don’t fit into the uniformed system of grading. Great innovations don’t come from the classrooms organized by the current standards. The only way to reduce the boredom among college students is to attack at the root of the problem: schools need to reduce the number of students per class and redefine the way education is being served. The teaching methods should be focused on stimulating and opening a learner’s mind instead of molding children into people who would grow up ready to fit into the system.

The super-sized classes and curriculum guidelines don’t give college professors much space for an individualized approach. Veteran teachers are not ready to give up on the secure lesson plans that don’t leave space for surprises during the lecture. The dilemma has been resolved: the educational system is a living category; it should continuously evolve and upgrade to comply with the needs and interests of contemporary students. The problem is: are we going in the right direction? Unfortunately, we continue to make the colleges exclusively educational, in the narrowest sense of the word. In its broader meaning, education means an upgrade of knowledge and expertise, but also development of capacity for distinguishing art, beauty, and proper values. That’s where the U.S. educational system fails and causes boredom in its higher levels. Colleges and professors should stop thinking of ways to entertain their students. Such approach does not solve the underlying causes of boredom. Engagement and individualism are supposed to be fostered from the earliest years in education; that’s where the revolution should start.

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1Kyung Hee Kim (2011): The Creativity Crisis: The Decrease in Creative Thinking Scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, Creativity Research Journal, 23:4, 285-295

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