There are many aspects of the current education system that negatively impact student’s development and growth. Imitation is an aspect in the current education system that does not promote learning for content but memorizing for test scores and grade point averages. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Pirsig states, “As a result of his experiments he concluded that imitation was a real evil that had to be broken before real rhetoric teaching could begin” (Pirsig 172). In order to develop a more beneficial education, one must be able to break down the aspects of education that work and do not work. Imitation and memorization are common aspects that always seem to be used in the current educational system. While I strongly believe that memorizing something like the alphabet is important, I also believe that large concepts cannot simply be memorized for they must be understood. The ability to understand something requires one to dig deeper than flashcards and study guides.
There is another bold statement that stood out to me as I considered how our educational curriculum and system can negatively affect students. Pirsig wrote, “He felt that by exposing classes to his own sentences as he made them, with all the misgivings classes to his own sentences as he made them, with all the misgivings and hang-ups and eras...
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Through reading this chapter, I was able to recognize the true definition of academic achievement. Academic achievement is defined by the outlook after the experience of completing a course of education. It is not a measurement of how much information was retained or how much knowledge could be recited. I realized that the current education system has affected me negatively more than positive effects and more than I originally thought. In the words of Pirsig, “Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships” (Pirsig 167). I will not avoid the hardship that comes with reaching for academic achievement, the act successfully reaching true achievement is being willing to take the difficult path.
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