Education: what do you feel are the biggest mistakes we are making in the education system ?
What kind of changes would you like to see in our education system/approach that would better prepare kids for college and the future job market?
This is a good, and hard question. It is very relative to ones specific area I think. There are so many things about my specific area that have me considering home schooling my son when the time comes.
Recently a friend shared a cute picture her daughter had submitted in art class. The problem was the teacher told the girl "this is beneath your age level, I am very disappointed at your work. This child is a straight A student, yet somehow her artwork is not up to snuff with her teacher.
The problem I see is that the teacher should not have put the student down at all. We wonder why bullying is such a serious problem yet, I see teachers bully students all the time.
She is a straight A student, most likely not destined to be an artist. We are not all artistic by any means, yet we all have something to contribute to society.
I think perhaps standardize testing could use a bit of a re-vamp, lumping all children into a "standard" may not actually be allowing us to see in what areas children excel. Not all children excel in the same areas, does that mean they will not go on to do great things?
I would like to see more "life" classes, if that makes sense. We teach them History, English, Math and so on. What we do not teach is important. Simple things like "money management", understanding credit scores, Gardening and food preservation would all be beneficial. Balancing a check book is something simple, yet so many kids grow up and venture into the world with no idea what life is like and end up harming their credit, and bank accounts.
Gardening and food preservation was a way of life at one time. I think it could help in so many ways. If you teach them to grow food at an early age, then perhaps if they end up down and out they will still be able to feed their families.
I am sure there are other issues I am not touching on, though my lil guy is not two yet so I have a limited knowledge of our schools system.
I was just going to say the same thing. Education is no longer about Education the future generations on how to think, problem solve or figure out how to live and keep a steady lifestyle. Its about who has the highest grade at the end of the day, which just teaches kids how to cheat and guess at answers, not how to solve them or understand what they are learning.
I wish I had Home economics or life classes in my old school. I was lucky enough to have an amazing guidance counselor to help me with student loans but other than that, I had no clue what credit was, I didn't know how insurance worked or how to balance my budget. My first year of college was insane! School systems need to start preparing kids for the future and stopped forcing things that we really will never use down their throats so the school system can get a good overall standing and more funding. Education isn't education any more..its a political business.
Mine is a radical answer. People don’t really get interested in hard science, the humanities, advanced maths, foreign languages or proper literature until they are in their mid to late 20s. Kids don’t care about these things at all (other than as abstract curiosities). Kids don’t care about history because they have no context for it. How could they understand the desire for colonization when they don’t even know how to balance a checkbook or understand business? What kids are interested in is learning how to read and write, learning and performing basic math, abstract problem solving, talking about their curiosities, exploring/navigating, seeing animals, seeing nature, seeing landmarks, interacting, managing money, cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc.—basically all of the crap grownups do. Most of all, kids love to talk and they HATE to listen to learn. They have a barrier that seems to prevent it.
What they want is to learn how to do daily things with real responsibilities and to allow their natural curiosities to develop based on their surroundings. What’s the use of teaching a kid biology if he/she doesn’t actually first go out and see tadpoles and frogs in the wild? The intellectual curiosity will develop after nature is seen firsthand. The same goes for social studies, foreign languages or even math. We think that if we make kids read children’s “novels” and do book reports that it will make them want to read literature. In fact, this has the opposite effect. What about starting with literature and cutting out the book reports and tests? Focus on plays like those by Euripides or Aristophanes. Kids will enthusiastically learn these grownup plays and act them out, because they resemble TV or movie scripts. From there, transitioning to novels and other works would be easier.
When kids hit 12 yrs, they are looking for social groups with like interests. When they hit 14 yrs, they are focused on greater social interaction. They don’t want to learn ANYTHING other than maybe a very narrow field of interest. Why bother with anything else? Introduce them to experiences early. Then, in their teens, cultivate their individual interests each developed as kids. In the meantime, teach them how to do grownup things to be productive. It's what they want. And the testing has got to stop or more people will start homeschooling.
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