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Situating academia in self-realization

By The Charger Account Editorial Staff April 7, 2022

Quincy Han Art


What keeps reappearing across cultures is the problem of cultivating selfhood—wherein an individual evaluates their point of existence through an anthropocentric sense. High school is a pivotal point for students to form their identity and explore their talents, interests and values. However, stepping into the real world can be daunting as young adults are presented with a multiplicity of life alternatives that make identity formation an arduous endeavor. Despite the already onerous nature of developing identity, the lack of career-oriented curricula and culture of teacher mentorship in schools makes this process even more challenging.


The academic rigidity of the modern education system causes curricula centered on students’ self-cultivation—such as psychology, anthropology and philosophy—as well as career-oriented classes, to be overlooked. According to Kendall Walton, professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, early K-12 education creators omitted certain classes in the humanities, causing many young adults to experience poor mental health and lack of direction. Given that one’s future success is contingent on the congruity between their profession and individual values, self-appraisal is the backbone of suitable career decisions. Uncertainty over career choice has caused some students to attend junior college after high school, while others submit to external pressures such as their parents’ wishes, consequently living a proxy life.


Given that one’s future success is contingent on the congruity between their profession and individual values, self-appraisal is the backbone of suitable career decisions.

School courses and teachers play a major role in shaping students’ prospective career choices. According to a study in the American Educational Research Journal, juniors and seniors who complete Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are less likely to drop out of high school. Ranging from topics like health science to business management, CTE courses provide students with real-world skills and enable students to find a niche they are passionate about. Similar to courses, educators can also influence students’ perspectives on potential career paths. For example, a study conducted at a college in New York urged for more teacher training for career-related development, revealing that middle and high school teachers’ differentiated support and attention to students’ individual potentials were critical in encouraging the pursuit of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Beyond teaching, instructors are mentors to students—who spend most of their lives at school—and can advise their pupils’ identity development with their own expertise.


Current situations exhort more personalized programs that give students the opportunity to explore their individuality without pressure from surrounding factors. By implementing career-oriented courses and promoting teacher mentorship, schools can guide students in their personal and professional journeys. Everything that happens in this sublime chaos creates ripples that expand infinitely; every choice we make are not antagonists, but reverberations of who we are.


 

About the Contributors

Aileen Xie

Editor-in-Chief


Aileen Xie is a senior at Leland High School and the Editor-in-Chief for Opinions, Viewpoint, and Last Word. She is deeply passionate about visual and literary arts, and loves philosophy. In her free time, she enjoys reading classics and drinking coffee.







Ashley Lee

Editor-in-Chief


Ashley Lee is a senior at Leland High School and the EiC of School News, Community News, and Feature School. During her free time, she enjoys baking, traveling with friends, and going to cafes.










Cindy Zhao

Editor-in-Chief, Media Manager


Cindy is a senior at Leland High School and the Editor-in-Chief for Lifestyle, Entertainment and Feature World as well as the Media Head for The Charger Account. They are a big fan of cameras, skies, and the human capacity for growth. Send them nice poetry and art prints, and they will love you forever.




Nancy Zheng

Editor-in-Chief, Ad Manager


Nancy Zheng is a senior at Leland High School and the Editor-in-Chief for Investigative Report, Sports, and Student Spotlight. She is also the Ad Manager of The Charger Account. Aside from academics, she loves playing piano, dancing Chinese dance, and curating Spotify playlists with friends.

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