In today’s society there is a great need for tolerance, understanding and celebration of diversity. The purpose of educational institutions such as high schools are to reinforce the necessary skills needed for functioning in a fast-paced, intellectual and electronic world. High schools have succeeded in giving their students the needed preparation of hands-on training as far as computer skills and specialized vocational training. However, these institutions seemed to have missed the opportunity to engage in the journey of separating the gaps between the multi-faceted thought processes and ways of life of individuals.
Throughout elementary and middle school, a child is taught to learn the basic facts and problem-solving techniques of the world thought to be needed to for everyday life. Then one ventures into the new social world of high school, where belonging to various cliques and having outsiders wishing to be similar to the existing members is a sign of popularity and group dominance. These have become to be the largest concerns of high school life: social belonging and classification.
The mandatory courses for each school district may vary, but the basics are English, mathematics, social sciences and some forms of natural science. Simple enough right? But how does one cope in the real world with a brain full of knowledge and a heart of stone ignorant to the sympathies for the next individual? These teenagers are more or less conditioned to be more knowledgeable than their ancestors, trained to remember dates of important events in history, yet ordained to go their separate ways after class. Yes, they may have class discussions where one gives his/her opinion on a topic or two, but the connections between the learning of these children’s diverse minds are nonexistent.
People from all over the world think and act in their own personal ways; analyze situations in totally different manners from others and interpret information according to what is most familiar and logically acceptable to them. When these teenagers leave high school to go to major colleges or universities, they will receive a major culture shock.
Communication with the next individual may be difficult, for they will not see eye to eye nor understand how the other could be so different from them. Some people in this world are categorized as “weird” and “different” when they are only misunderstood by the mental of their character and practices of their heritage.
High schools of tomorrow should embark on a mission for deeper understanding of people and society of today to develop a unified focus for our future. Communities of diverse students learn from the great master called Life, but a high school course could supplement this natural means for obtaining knowledge and representing the world of diversity and mostly unnoticed commonalities.
An introductory course to Sociology could give the opportunity to gain knowledge of various cultures in hopes of creating a safe and positive way to communicate with one another.