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Editorial: Students are Up for the Challenge

Rigorous curriculum will reduce the temptation to cheat

MavLife+editorial+board+%282013-2014%29+from+left+to+right%2C+top+to+bottom%3A+Anthony+Fregoso%2C+Megan+Minero%2C+Jackson+Cowart%2C+Natalie+Engel%2C+Devon+Whitlam%2C+Molly+Mineiro%2C+Cassandra+Cyphers%2C+Jessica+Woods%2C+Emily+Schacht%2C+Meghan+Lumsden+and+Claudia+Mathews.
MavLife editorial board (2013-2014) from left to right, top to bottom: Anthony Fregoso, Megan Minero, Jackson Cowart, Natalie Engel, Devon Whitlam, Molly Mineiro, Cassandra Cyphers, Jessica Woods, Emily Schacht, Meghan Lumsden and Claudia Mathews.

MavLife editorial board (2013-2014) from left to right, top to bottom: Anthony Fregoso, Megan Minero, Jackson Cowart, Natalie Engel, Devon Whitlam, Molly Mineiro, Cassandra Cyphers, Jessica Woods, Emily Schacht, Meghan Lumsden and Claudia Mathews.

Molly Naudi

Molly Naudi

MavLife editorial board (2013-2014) from left to right, top to bottom: Anthony Fregoso, Megan Minero, Jackson Cowart, Natalie Engel, Devon Whitlam, Molly Mineiro, Cassandra Cyphers, Jessica Woods, Emily Schacht, Meghan Lumsden and Claudia Mathews.

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“The world needs you to stop being boring. Ya, you! Boring is easy, everybody can be boring!”

The words of 10-year-old Robby Novak, better known as the YouTube sensation Kid President, challenge the world to achieve greatness. Likewise, the MavLife editorial board believes that if teachers were to challenge their students, young adults would not only rise to a new level of intellectual capability, but the common trend of cheating would dramatically reduce.

While many are quick to point towards overbearing parents and competitive colleges as the root of the rising epidemic of academic dishonesty, the MavLife editorial board believes that boredom is a far less identified contributor.

Generation Z (those born in the mid 90’s until the present day) are often labelled as lazy and unaware. The truth is that those labels are . . . well . . . actually they are pretty on target with the general trend of our generation.

Teenagers can be ignorant to anything existing outside the world of the “Pretty Little Liars” and “Breaking Bad.”

Yet, as the first generation thrust into a world driven by technology, we face the difficult task of learning how to utilize the constant access to information as a tool, without allowing it to be a crippling distraction.

Currently, students are rarely challenged to form their own ideas and education is often diluted in an attempt to make it more appealing. Rather than accept the idea that teenagers are ignorant simpletons as fact, teachers should drive their students toward higher levels of thinking to battle the stereotype.

A simple step that would help accomplish this goal would be for teachers to be more strategic in the way that they assign homework. An excessive amount of homework causes students to feel overwhelmed and resort to copying their classmates’ work. This possibility only increases when the assignment is a repetitive amount of work on the same concept, especially if the student has already mastered the topic.

While many are quick to point towards overbearing parents and competitive colleges as the root of the rising epidemic of academic dishonesty, the MavLife editorial board believes that boredom is a far less identified contributor.”

— Editors

If teachers were to more carefully use class time to cover the basic foundations and principles of a topic, students would have guidance from their instructors to clarify any uncertainties they may have on the lesson. Then, that night’s homework could cover a few, more challenging problems that require students to use the basics they learned in class that day and their own ability to think critically to further master the lesson.

“What will you create to make the world awesome?” Kid President asks. “Nothing if you keep sitting there. This is your time. This is my time. It’s our time!” Inspired by the words of Kid President, the MavLife editorial board challenges teachers and student to join together and take hold of our education. While it may be true that many teenagers are preoccupied by meaningless celebrity gossip, the desire to better understand the world and be capable of making change are traits that the majority of young adults possess.

While it may be further below the surface in some young adults versus others, teachers should have confidence in all their students and believe that they are capable of, in the words of Kid President, “being awesome.”

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Editorial: Students are Up for the Challenge