Education In The Hamsterwheel

Essay on motivation, intention and background of a series of photographs


Today, high demands are often made on young people, whether by parents, school, society or politics. Many cope with it well. Either because they are ambitious anyway, above average intelligence or because they are able – for any reason whatsoever – to withstand the external pressure.

Grown Up (1/12) - THE HEADSHOT

Grown Up (3/12) – The Confetti Shooter

Others are simply overwhelmed. As a result of this psychological stress those adolescents often suffer from growing self-doubt, fear of the future, insomnia and fatigue phenomena. The cause is a partly real, partly imaginary performance pressure. The struggling students feel that life consists mostly of school, studying, homework. There is hardly any time for hobbies and to meet friends. For some, the feeling of light-heartedness has dissipated entirely.

This observation raises the question about what is really wrong in our educational system. There is reason to question what purpose education is pursuing nowadays. What is the reason behind it? To what extend should education ever be goal oriented and what main goals should occupy centre stage?

Note of author: The essay above has not only been originally written in German but also covers topics concerning especially the German educational system. However the following remarks also address questions and considerations in regard of scrutinizing and improving eduction in general. Many problems and thoughts are assignable to other countries and education systems. Independently education is (or at least should be) a major issue for every society that pursues the values of sustainability, responsibility and justice.