I think we should focus more on "showing" rather than "telling." For example, mathematics. The majority of that is taught by a boring lecture and bookwork. How often have you heard kids whine, "When am I ever going to use algebra in real life?!" Well, if you actually get them up and SHOW them how it pertains to real life then I think they can catch on. Take them out and measure the square footage of the school football field instead of drawing on a piece of paper. Do you teach art and music by standing up and lecturing and expecting the kids to do it on their own? No, you get them a paintbrush or an instrument and they learn as they go, by DOING. We each first graders their numbers by counting on their fingers and adding/subtracting with actual building blocks or something. It shouldn't stop there. It should go all the way to fractions, decimals, algebra, calculus, etc....
Also, I've noticed that schools in my city have a curriculum for Gifted and Talented kids, and in every one they boast how the program is very "hands-on." As in, the kids go outisde and do experiments, get out of their desks and use their knowledge for real-life activities. I mean, really? You give the fun stuff to smart kids who probably wouldn't mind learning from a book in the first place but you can't do the same for the "regular" kids? It doesn't have to be as rigorous as you would for a G&T kid, but I think every student deserves to apply learning to the real world. And people are wondering why the schools' scores are low.
all religions are taught. ethics is a manditory lesson. people can be put into detention for saying stupid comments, so to teach them to only speak when they have something intelligent to say. economics is the main core of maths. music is removed from the manditory lessons, so is drama. school goes on from 11 until 5.
How does removing drama do any good? Students need to be able to speak confidentially in front of people, work in groups, and improvise regularly, for most jobs.
Speaking as an ultra shy person who did drama from grade 1 - 12, it improved my confidence in front of people and helped me complete my other assignments. I never had done drama, I would have never been able to complete my 15 minute oral in modern history.
intelligence is subjective. As they say, 'if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will spend it's life believing itself to be stupid'. People have differing views about things, for one thing, so what may sound smart to one person, will not sound smart to another. For example, if the teacher is a holocaust denier, they'll punish the kids for talking about the truth.
id rather they were being taught something important, if they wish to take drama during their later years of education that is fine. You can fined confidence in other lessons anyway, as i did in oral speaking in english. maybe a drama club would be a good middle ground, yes?
intelligence is subjective, but wisdom is not.
if we had a holocaust denier as a teacher in england, they would be removed. what godforsaken nation would let that go on anyway? like i say wisdom is not subjective, and neither is common sense.
In my case, I would like to see more rhetoric in our curriculum as opposed to simply memorization. I know the tests are more difficult that way but for me, topics leave a more lasting impression because the mind is being made to work and figure things out as opposed to simply just soaking up information that may be forgotten after the test has passed.
That and teachers who work in public schools ought to be paid more (i.e. given more value). That can partially ensure quality education for all socio-economic levels
Well, I'd probably first try and conduct a study on different school systems in different nations and examine what could possibly work in my nation's school system. (Although this perhaps has already been done before, I'm not sure). I'd probably review an alternative to the pure "tenure system" for the teachers at non-college levels (perhaps make it more possible to fire bad teachers, but have guidelines in place so that this isn't overly abused). Reviewing the credentials needed for teaching (and perhaps raising them) could also help. Getting rid of the "No Child Left Behind" policy could be good too. Look into increasing funding, perhaps creating a board that reviews textbooks and teaching materials (that is on the national level...unless this exists already?).
I'd still continue to encourage the cooperative environment that seems to be the norm in a lot of U.S. schools, however. I don't feel like the competitive nature seen in many of the Asian schools is particularly healthy or useful.
Finally, I'd probably inspect some of the cultural mentalities behind schooling in different nations, because I do sometimes wonder if that is part of where the problem lies. Doing all of these things to help the school system could help, but not if we have a lot of kids who find it a waste of time to learn.
I think most people already know the main problem with the American education system. There is a huge discrepancy between the quality of education in wealthy and poor districts. You can actually receive a relatively good education in the United States if you go to the right school. But I've heard some ridiculous stories from schools in bad districts. Teachers almost never teach. Textbooks that are outdated. A curriculum so watered down that students can pass simply by showing up.
The curriculum is dumbed down to keep graduation rates up. Teachers teach to standardized tests to keep test scores up. Many colleges carry the banner of low standards by passing these same students through in an effort to collect tuition dollars, especially as government grants become more scarce. Employers are all aware of this and have to search for alternative methods of weeding out unqualified applicants.
Students pick up on the cheapening of their education and realize that they won't necessarily get a job through with a diploma and degree in hand. This leads many to have less of an incentive to focus on education. This creates a destructive cycle.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a whole range of other problems. But education inequality and lowered standards are the primary cause.
Sometimes (or most of the time) teachers are easily irritated that they vent their frustration on a select few students, such as when they're talking while they're teaching, they can't help but whine "THAT'S IT, OFF TO THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE!" or "IF YOU KEEP MAKING THAT NOISE, YOU'RE GONNA HAVE DETENTION FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR!"
Teachers should start each course by building upon a conceptual foundation first. For example, instead of telling math students to just memorize a bunch of incomprehensible formulas -- and then attempt to blindly "apply" them -- they should initially explain how that formula came about: what its inherent logic and practical use is in the real world.
Another good example would be to use modern-psychological/mnemonic techniques for difficult material: such as having students "picture" a word that they need to memorize or learn to spell -- as if the word consisted of giant bold letters floating in front of them. Trying to teach them to spell "phonetically" is a joke! As Richard Bandler (founder of NLP) would say, "You can't even spell [the word] 'phonetics' phonetically!"
Oh, yeah...and in some cities -- like Chicago -- it would help the youngsters "retain" what they've learned by providing them with bullet-proof vests!
The first step into revolutionizing any part of society is giving more power to the majority. Let the students tell their teachers what they want to learn, rather than the other way around: being indoctrinated by the government and the bourgeoisie that operate both the public and private educational systems.
The teachers never tell the children what to learn, the teachers are basically slaves to the county. Also, a lot of children are uninterested in learning, others who do want to learn probably won't agree on a subject. I don't see students picking curriculum as a good idea.
Kids are uninterested in learning because they are forced to attend schooling with no say in how they want to learn. The teachers are not the only slaves, but the students are the biggest slaves of them all. To deny the right to learn what the students demand is not only undemocratic, but quite borderline authoritarian.
It works, it's been proven to work because it takes the interest of the students at heart and goes with it, rather than jamming nationalism down their throats and censoring every bit of knowledge that would be deemed too 'inconvenient' for educational system.
I've had three conversations with three different people on here and they all seem to think that religious schools are what public schools are... You know we are talking about public schools right? There is nothing authoritarian about not putting a 5 year old in charge of curriculum. Public school does not teach nationalism.
I've been to four and I've been to one religious school and know five people who have been to six different religious schools. What you described is the average religious school, not the average public school.
How so? This is how all schools in the U.S operate, religious or not. I did not mention religion or the indoctrination of religion by educators.
So I'll say it again:
Kids are uninterested in learning because they are forced to attend schooling with no say in how they want to learn. The teachers are not the only slaves, but the students are the biggest slaves of them all. To deny the right to learn what the students demand is not only undemocratic, but quite borderline authoritarian. I'm NOT demanding that a single kindergartener to plan out a whole schools curriculum by themselves, for that only shows your ignorance on the matter, but to instead ask a class one very simple question: "What would you like to learn today?"
It works, it's been proven to work because it takes the interest of the students at heart and goes with it. The students are given a choice, which gives incentive for the students to want to learn. Democracy is the greatest incentive of them all, and it should not be limited as it is now. Public schools are the opposite: students are mandated to go through the educational system centrally planned, to be taught what the government deems acceptable, and the students have no say in the matter at all. Hence why the American educational system failed, because it's authoritarian at best.
Note that I have not mentioned religion or religious schools once and that you're bringing them up now is a straw man: it's completely unrelated.
I know you didn't mention it, I'm not saying you mentioned it, I'm saying you DESCRIBED them. Not saying that was your intention, all I'm saying is that's what you did. And no, that is not how all schools in the U.S operate.
It is not authoritarian, that's just a stupid thing to say. And how are 5 year olds supposed to know what to learn? They aren't going to say, hey teacher, we'd like to learn how to properly write a sentence please. Or hey teacher, we'd like to learn basic math. I've worked at a school where the students are in control, they don't get dick done because the students don't want to do anything. It's not authoritarian to say that students should not be in control of the curriculum. And also, often, most teachers during the 2nd semester will ask students what they want to learn. This I am fine with and agree with, that's good. But doing that from the get go? How are they supposed to know? High school is a different story. Once you get into subject-specific classes that gets better.
Again, it's not a straw-man. A straw-man is me telling you you meant something when you didn't, you implying something when you may or may not have meant to is not a strawman, especially if it's true. You described, again, whether you meant to or not, religious schools more so than public schools. Public schools aren't really authoritarian. But even so, there needs to be rules and there needs to be set curriculum. You just can't have some students not learn gravity and others do simply because it's "authoritarian" to tell them what they need to learn. lol.
Increase wages for teachers, but at the same time raise the minimum qualifications.
Also the disparity between public and private education here is actually ridiculous. I completely understand public schools are essentially offering free education, but free education is still useless if it's not of any quality.
Seriously, I've been working with kids in the schools lately. Based on what I've seen, the problem has nothing to do with the quality of teachers or lack of funding or anything like that. The problem is that vast majority of the kids are just out-of-control assholes with whom no one should be expected to achieve anything.
They're really not all the same though. Some are calm, intelligent, self-motivated, even self-sacrificing people who will focus on doing well at school even at the expense of being seen as a "nerd."
Others are little more than future thugs who care only about how high they can fill their swag meter or whatever the hell they call it, and who can barely even put a sentence together on paper despite years of wasted effort poured into them by teachers who I can no longer believe are at fault.
It's anathema to say in any kind of converation about education, but there really are such things as bad kids. And I really do think the problem in the education system is a change in the quality of the kids rather than a change in the quality of education.
Well sure, The area where the school is located would certainly effect what kind of children attend that school. Bad neighborhoods will tend to have bad kids. But, that really isn't a good excuse as to why our entire education system is failing. Besides, how would you "replace" these "bad kids"?
Boost teacher morale. Here, the teachers are facing cuts to the education system and it's making it harder to teach kids that want to learn amongst the ones that treat it as a doss.
Also, they should stop trying to scrap BTECs. It's pretty handy for the people who want to do something hands on rather than academic.
Another thing, and this applies to my sister - I'm not sure if it's a huge problem - but the schools shouldn't limit the children on what they want to do.
This is going to sound crazy, but my brother was telling me about how my sister was cramming for a test and going crazy over it, stayed up really late and whatnot. They were telling her to get to bed because she'll need rest to do better for her test. Here's the kicker - she said 'but I don't want to actually do well on it'. Strange? Her logic behind it would mean if she didn't do as well as expected, she'd be put into a lower group and then wouldn't be forced to take triple science giving her only one choice to do what subject she wanted. Even worse, for science it's the triple, or the foundation paper which meant she could only get a C maximum but take an extra two subjects.
I feel nervous for her. They've changed it so much since I was her age. I'd probably be smashing my head against a desk if I was back in school and it was like that.
High school should be more career focused. It is frustrating for students such as myself who leave high school with no idea what they're going to do in the future because of limited variety in classes or inability to dwell into areas of interest. High school should prepare students for more focused, specific studies in college or otherwise. If a student has an interest in science, they should be allowed to take multiple science classes instead of maybe just 1 or 2, and thus sacrifice a different subject. This flexibility will help in allowing students to explore individual interests.
I also am always in favor of smaller classes with intimate discussion. This encourages group cooperation which is important in most careers.
You can't do this? Florida has one of the worst education systems in the country yet we can choose our own classes, strange. Also, high school should not be career based. Considering the fact that most college students don't know what they want to do, I don't think we should start that as early as high school.
Again, this is not a normal thing wherever you are? I would assume if my shitty system has it then yours would. I was allowed to do exactly what you said. All but one of my electives throughout high school was a photography class. I took the class 7 times and worked as an intern for 3 semesters.
We had only 1 photography class as an elective. You instead had to take English for 4 years, which is fine, but also math for at least 3, history or economics or government for all 4 years, 3 years of science, and a few years of a foreign language. Then there was also PE and health which were mandatory. There was flexibility on what science you could take, although there are only two physics, chemistry, and biology classes each, one more advanced than the other. You could also decide between economics or history, but that was mostly it. You would have room for an elective in art or music once or twice.
There was only one photography class as well, I took it 6 times and then dual-enrolled at the community college and took their course. All of your requirements mirror mine, except foreign language is not required and you have to have 4 years of math now. Also economics is required for us.
Some of my friends interested in science and maths had their schedule as thus: physics, chemistry, biology, english (required), religion (required) maths B (required, hardest 'required' math) and maths C. (abstract maths, IIRC.)