EDUCATION – THE IMMENSE COST OF CONFORMITY

Conformity refers to the process in which, under collective pressure from a group, individuals tend to join the majority of society and follow their opinions, with the fear of becoming isolated in society (7). Conformism can be defined as the change in thinking, feeling or acting following pressure, real or imaginary, exercised by the group (Moghaddam, 1998). It is considered, a social norm generally an accepted way of thinking, feeling or acting, emphasized and expected by members of a particular community or social group since it is considered the right thing (Turner, 1991).

In our schools students are being made to conform in different ways and are considered rebellious or a misfit is they do not. The major negative to conformity is that it can force a person to be someone who they are not. In today’s society there are those among millions of people that enjoy standing out. These people feel comfortable with expressing themselves in their own unique ways. (1)  Conformity could be good in ways that keep our society intact. Intact in the sense that people know the good things to do in different situations and people know the things they have to avoid (2). Conformity erases individuality. Conformity just inhibits us to speak out the necessary things that could actually improve a situation or a decision. (2) Conformity is an expectation within every society. It is expected that each member of society will do their part to live in harmony with the other members.(3)

Conformists that follow every rule of society without question are actually setting themselves up for failure. A blind belief in any system without question is a dangerous way to move through life. Some laws are meant to be broken. (3). Noam Chomsky said, the school system is designed to teach obedience and conformity and prevent the child’s natural capacities from developing. The interesting thing is that in today’s world, businesses demand creativity and innovation.  The last thing they want is standardization because they are seeing graduates who are not able to “think outside of the box.” (4) The world is all about innovation and keeping up with the changing waves that sweep through (4). Education is a personal journey.  It’s not about conformity, it’s about discovery and passion. The gift of humanity is in its diversity.  We need to remember this.  Value it.  Treasure it.  Safe guard it. (4)

There seems to be a growing consensus that contemporary higher education institutions (HEIs) are trapped in conformity. (5) The greatest cost that society bears as a result of the enforced conformity from the youngest to the oldest students in education is a personal tragedy borne by, literally, millions of students and former students. (6) Prolonged conformity would likely be a good environmental trigger to bring on serious mental health problems. (6) The idea that the education system is somehow responsible for causing real pain and suffering in our society is horrible. However, the pain and suffering of the individuals concerned is many times more horrifying. And the cost of such suffering to our society is beyond imagination (6). We are richer and more prosperous than ever before in history. We can come up with better solutions for educating our people. We just have to decide that we must, and then make it happen. (6)

In conclusion, conformity in education creates a society of less innovative and creative people, who cannot think outside the box due to conformity in the educational system. Conformity inhibits people from speaking up and encourages them to follow the rules without questioning them. Though conformity has implications on the society it is seen to have a much more negative effect on the individual, it could cause, mental breakdown, lack of confidence, lack of creativity and the inability to maximize ones full potential or use ones talent. The educational system should encourage creativity and should not consider students who do not conform as misfits. The educational system should encourage uniqueness.

 

References;

  1. https://www.kibin.com/essay-examples/advantages- and-disadvantages- of-conformity-
    ZLOrmnQh
  2.  https://medium.com/@rickster95_/conformity-and- its-disadvantages- d78e97c0f9fc
  3. http://healthresearchfunding.org/13-pros- and-cons- of-conformity- in-society/
  4. https://cherraolthof.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/549/
  5. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2016.1242566?journalCode=cshe20
  6. https://hethoughts.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/conformity-and- education/
  7. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10209-016- 0456-1
  8. Conformity, Obedience, Disobedience: The Power of the Situation by Piero Bocchiaro and Adriano Zamperini

 

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