Today, kids are being exposed to the world earlier and in more depth than ever before. With the explosion of social media sites like Twitter and Face book – news, hot topics, gossip, and most other information are available within moments of happening. Students today are over stimulated in their everyday lives and that’s why they are getting the help of https://socialized.me, in sense of generating the great following. To the point of becoming slaves to their own imagination (or lack thereof). With the nearly constant stream of entertainment and information presented to them on an hourly basis, it becomes nearly impossible to condition them to focus on a particular task for an extended period. Nowhere is this more evident than in the school building; where teachers are constantly being asked to change teaching techniques and learn entirely new curriculums just to keep up. Unfortunately, with all the changes that the students experience, the one thing that should offer some consistency doesn’t – Education. That, in a nutshell, is the problem with the education system in America.
China, a developing world power, economical leader, technological giant and rigidly communist country is headed toward more prosperity and dominance and it starts with its demanding school system. Students in China are not inherently privileged to attend senior middle school (high school in the U.S.) if they have not demonstrated the ability or drive to complete more strenuous courses. The government does not try to force all students into the same mold or make them feel like failures because of their natural limitations. Students receive the education they will need in order to become productive citizens – which means training artisans and craftsmen in addition to doctors and engineers. Students, as a whole, don’t receive the same coddling that hinders our more capable students from achieving their true potential.
Here, students in middle school (approx. 10-14 in age) that fail to meet certain standards on a particular test are allowed to appeal the results and are very often admitted into high school as opposed to being retained to solidify the skills needed to be successful at the next level. Essentially what this does is give students little incentive to work harder the following school year. Simultaneously, this slows the progression of other students who must endure time-wasted scolding, or the re-teaching of elementary concepts. Because of this system flaw, the few students that qualify for advanced placement courses are sometimes not truly advanced, but comparably superior to other students in the same grade level.
I have taught mathematics in the public school system here for 6 years and I have already taught 3 different math curriculum with a fourth to begin here in Georgia at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Each year, I am told how I need to differentiate my teaching methods in order to meet the needs of all of my students. I am told that when students don’t understand, (despite knowing that they were unprepared per their test results the previous year), I must reteach the material and give students ample opportunities to be re-evaluated.
I am even directed to contact the parents a particular number of times throughout the semester because if the parents are not contacted and the student fails, the parent can appeal, and again, their child passed on to the next level. All accountability falls on the teachers and administrators while the ill-prepared, over-stimulated, overly-diagnosed student sits idly by and learns nothing. Even the standardized Georgia graduation test can be set aside with the right arguments made by the parents.
I am hoping that the system will revert to some of its past ways. Before the invention of the internet, ideas were not as easily shared. With the ease of communication, ideas, philosophies, and strategies, some decision makers rush to make changes without enough research being done on each matter. How else could one explain my predicament of teaching 4 curriculum in 7 years? My teachers taught me a certain way and I was able to comprehend. My parents (and most likely yours too) were taught that way as well. We were presented with material, given direction of how to understand said material, and evaluated on our understanding of the material. When too many variables come into play all it does is complicate the process more. So in a time where test scores are low, teacher moral is down, and parent support is virtually non-existent, I implore our educational leaders to keep it simple.