It's that time of the year again, when the Seniors of Clapham School display an important outcome of their schooling. The defense of their Senior Thesis is a rite of passage that ushers these well deserving students into early adulthood, as they are empowered and equipped to serve Christ.
Throughout the months of April and May we will share posts featuring the work of each of our seniors. If you are intrigued by these appetizers, be sure to join us for their presentations and defenses during the week of May 10th. More details will be shared as we approach the dates.
Modern American Education and Its Failure to Train Citizens
by Ari Escareno
Question: What is your thesis about?
American education is failing to build up independent thinking citizens who seek the truth in all circumstances. Through assessing historical documents and comparing them with the modern day education of students, I comment on the clear lack of a sense of citizenship in the younger generations. Instead of committing to the responsibilities, respecting the past, and critically thinking, citizens of today disrespect, devalue, and dismiss the United States of America. This is due to problems that have arisen in modern education.
Question: What was the hardest part of writing your thesis?
I think the hardest part was time. I actually did not gain full clarity on my thesis topic until after spring break. By the time I had clarity and was content with my outline, time had flown by. However, I would not change a thing because I found what I am passionate about and love the results.
Question: What resource was most helpful or made the biggest impact on your research or conclusion?
Honestly, there wasn't really a single source because I looked at many news articles and statistics. A lot of the books from our humanities curriculum show up throughout. The U.S. Constitution is one of the major sources.
Question: How will your findings impact your life personally?
Researching the topic of citizenship and education, I realized how blessed I was to receive the education I did at Clapham School. I now see education around me not only as a way to get a job, but as a way to build character and values. I think that in the future, as I go into education in different countries, I can help show students the impact of their education in their personal lives.
Question: How did faith inform your conclusion?
Our identity is in Christ and Christ alone. Our loyalty and trust should be in Him. However, I think that we also have a responsibility here on earth, a responsibility to our country, family, and friends. My faith allowed me to realize the importance of citizenship both to Christ and to my country.
Question: How did you experience the process of writing the thesis?
Every person thinks, processes, and writes in a different way. For me personally, I hate writing or researching until I have found something I am passionate about and love. Therefore, I devoted every Friday for three hours to research. The writing time for me was cramped and pressured, but that is when I do my best work. By the time I started writing I had so many ideas and thoughts that the words just flowed and suddenly I had a thesis.
Question: How are you preparing for the defense?
I am not very worried about my defense part. I think that knowing your paper well and the sources you used is the best way to prepare. Honestly, I prefer just to go with the flow and enjoy the experience!
Question: What advice do you have for next year's seniors?
Have fun and trust the process! Choose a topic that inspires you because it will take up a big part of your time. Also, do not stress if some part of the process does not come to you right away. Honestly, it is better to be a little cramped for time but love your thesis than to finish early and be disappointed. Also, pray, pray, pray. The Lord will guide you and show you what is important.
Ari began her education at Clapham School in Explorers II, making this her thirteenth year here. She plans to attend Wheaton College, double majoring in International Relations and Spanish with the hope of completing a Masters in Theology after a fifth year. She also wants to study French during the summers. She hopes to use this education to teach women theology in third world countries.