Saturday, May 5, 2012

Education Needs to Evolve

Source: random picture from Google

 --Temple Terrace FL
          The form of school, taught inside a class room, is outdated.  Saying this from just ending my semester at University of South Florida, I am a student.  I have always striven to do well in school, managing to get by with procrastination and never failing.  I can say that I did not learn much since 6th grade until I got to college, in terms of formal education.  I learned much more just from living on this planet.  Going back to college 3 years after high school without reading, writing, and practicing math basically started me over.  I knew basic study skills, however I am far more advanced as a student than I used to be.
   This is not the case for my brother.  He grew up an athlete and was never able to really become a student.  It just was not him.  Not able to sit down and read a book as well as having issues in learning math  He has now decided to withdraw from college to figure out where he wants to take his life. As hard as it is on my mother, we as a whole family understand everyone has a different way of learning and unique strong characteristics.  For example, good mechanics remember extremely well with their hands.  Any physical labor person that is good at their job knows they are most proficient and best when working with their hands. 
My point is this.  The formal way of learning in a class room does not work for more and more of the population currently and will continue to hold back many people who learn most effectively in so many other areas. 
   Solution:  Children are legally bound to attend K-8th grade in most cities.  They must understand why school is a law and a necessity to progress in life before high school though if they are willing to continue education.  Many students and past students need to understand the material being taught has importance if they are to take a certain path in life.  That path will most likely require a full time job in order for him or her to progress even further.  And from their, "The sky is the limit" as the saying goes.
      The four areas of learning in formal education are Math, Science, History, and English.  The solution would be simple.  Implement real application to connect the material being presented to the class.  For example, Environmental Science should have many labs outside throughout the entire year, just like Biology.  If the topic is general such as identifying plants, what good is sitting in a classroom looking at pictures of leaves??  I know this is done on some level with some classes but it is not a cornerstone to learning the real application.  For English as well, the students may find reading in different environments not just in a classroom or outside in the grass.  Take them to the public library and teach the value of getting sources for future assignments and how reading makes you smarter!
  Those like my brother, who cannot sit down to read a book, must have better opportunities to learn in our school system!! Teaching wood shop is no longer available in most schools.  Art can be considered a hands on task but my brother is not a drawer or painter.  How about the kinetic learners along with many athletes who have strong skills in moving their bodies and hands to complete tasks?  There are technical colleges which have given better opportunities to thousands of people.  Formal education for 6th to 8th grader should include a basic field class of taking the students to auto shops, laboratories that do testing and research, construction, and other technical jobs that are high paying and provide opportunities without the stress of feeling like you failed formal education.

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