Thursday, January 16, 2014
I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate
This video says it all. Any person who is involved in, has interest in or is part of the current education system should watch this video. Even if the message is not delivered in a traditional 'style', it is strong and to the point. Listen to these words and understand that education reform is not just an idea on the minds of teachers or pushy parents, but on the minds and shoulders of the children we push through this antiquated system.
I love to learn, so naturally the concepts of pedagogy, curriculum, and government involvement in the educational development of our children intrigues me. So how is it that "the dominating world power", The United States of America is ranking 29th among the educationally developed countries in mathematics, 23rd in science and 20th in reading according to PISA assessments?
As a nation that prides itself on being the best, we are sure falling short of the mark and failing our children. Students are not being taught the necessary skills to survive in the global economy we have created. They are not being prepared to handle menial life tasks such as balancing a bank account, but are being thrown into a world that expects them to take out tens sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to attend a college they were never prepared for.
Thanks to the internet and the boundless information available, there are thousands of students that have a clear grasp of which career path they want to follow before age 15. Do we encourage them to cultivate their knowledge and skills into a marketable trade? No.
Our education system provides these students with outdated text books, busy work and the broadest range of subjects possible in order to give them a "well rounded education". However, making a high school junior retake Shakespeare in summer school when he clearly excels in math, physics and chemistry is probably not beneficial to him. Chances are his brain is just not wired to enjoy and understand the classic writing styles of Shakespeare. Chances are he will never read or reference any of these works after passing this class. So what is this really providing the student? None of this makes him a bad student. It simply means he has a specialized skill set. A skill set, I might add, that is in high demand in the job market and should be cultivated and grown, not punished for being too narrow.
We have stalled as a nation on the grounds of education and need to find a comprehensive and universal system that encourages our children to feed their minds and advance in the areas that come naturally to them.
After all, the time between 15 and 25 flies by. Shouldn't we be giving them the best possible vault for life in this economy? I have solutions, but you didn't want to read any more of this today did you?
In case you did, here is the link to the PISA article on NPR.com.