The Hegemony of the U.S. Educational System is Failing Their Students

Esther Park

Paul Robbins defines hegemony in “Lawn People” as “the pervasive power to turn enforcement into something that appears to happen “spontaneously.” Ideologies work through hegemony by consent.

This cultural text is a video of a high school student, Jeff Bliss, confronting his teacher about the ways she teaches the class. His argument is that the teacher isn’t trying hard enough to actually teach her students and that she shouldn’t expect them to learn by simply handing out packets/assignments. He argues that to her, her job as a teacher may only mean just a paycheck, but for him it is “(his) country’s future and (his) education.” The American Educational System has evolved into a system that tests student’s abilities and knowledge with one non-universal standard. This standard creates exams and the exam scores students receive define their intelligence. So, all teachers focus on is training their students to think and grow their knowledge in ways to score well on these exams rather than in ways to help their original imagination and intelligence to grow. Rarely are students put in an environment where they are free to learn the way they naturally do. Meaning, every other student that thinks and learns in a different standard is considered falling behind. This has caused students to study and work hard to abide to these standards so that they can succeed and move forward in life. This educational system is taken in as common sense meaning it is hegemonic in our culture. Jeff Bliss argued that, “there’s kids in here that don’t learn like that.”

People like Jeff Bliss have seen beyond the hegemony of the American educational system. So then, when and how will our ideologies evolve to help us see against our common sense and in whole, act together to move forward in our educational system today?

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