The Hegemony of the American Education System

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The above image portrays the structure of every public school in America. Students are taught that the only important part of their life is school. They are taught that they have to focus on their studies, because an education is the only thing that can bring success in their life. They are taught that making art, making videos, writing stories, making music isn’t a “real job.” Students focused on that are generally told to “get their head out of the clouds.” These ideas have become hegemonic in society today. In other words, this ideology that the only important thing in life is education and intelligence is a completely normal part of society that isn’t questioned, and is enforced and encouraged by the adults in students’ lives.

For some reason in America, an extremely high value has been placed on education and intelligence. The people looked down upon in society are those who are deemed “unintelligent”. Though everyone knows it is possible to make a well-paying career out of art, or music, or writing, in school any student focused on such things is deemed as one of the “unintelligent” and will be “left behind” (as portrayed in the image above) if they don’t buckle down in school.

So why exactly is education seen as the only thing that will bring success in life? How did it get to the point that it was so hegemonic for children and young adults to spend so much of their life focused on such a difficult to attain goal?

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One thought on “The Hegemony of the American Education System

  1. To answer your question, money. That’s the answer as to why so many teachers hold disdain towards the liberal arts. Our society has made it a hegemony of its own, that one’s success in life can only be measured by the amount of money he or she makes. The liberal arts lack many jobs that create money as compared to engineers, doctors, lawyers, and so on. Yes, there are liberal art jobs that make money, but those are far and few in between for all the numerous people who pursue liberal arts. The fact that Education as an ideology hasn’t been challenged because it is backed by an even more subliminal, accepted hegemony. The hegemony of money, which will always equal success, happiness, and satisfaction in one’s life.

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