I’ve been reading a lot of education blogs lately, especially blogs that discuss technology in education. It has brought a lot of ideas to the front of my head; some new, some I’ve already thought but I have just forgotten about over the past few months. This is a list of some of my beliefs. I’m not going to go in depth to describe them. These are thoughts and there are definitely some generalizations in here. If you wanted to talk with me further about something that would be awesome, feel free to do so in the comments.
The average student in a public school today is often bored during the school day.
Much of the content being taught in an average public school does not properly reflect what many Americans do when they graduate and eventually go out into the “real world”.
Our public schools do not put enough focus on what students are interested in.
There is no incentive for a teacher to go outside of the comfort zone of typical structured lessons based on core standards and test prep. This is what the administration and eventually our students expect of them.
A teacher that does try to step out of this comfort zone, in order to engage or challenge the students, will not necessarily be supported or praised for this decision. It is very unlikely they would receive increased benefits or a higher salary.
Technology is a valuable tool in schools. But technology could never replace strong instruction and student support from a guiding teacher.
Technology is not going to be used in innovative, modern ways if you don’t have someone innovative and modern there to use the technology. Because of that there is no point in shoving technology down each teachers throat. But make sure you do have innovative people in your school. They will be the ones that use technology effectively, and will slowly help other teachers grow fond of the possibilities technology offers their classrooms.
Teachers should not have more than 20 children per class until college. I think class sizes should be even smaller than that before Middle School. Around 10-15 students per class.
Standards and curriculum should focus more on skills and less on content. Creative thinking, problem soloving, writing skills, critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, logic, organization, time management, etc. SKILLS are what we are judged on when we go into the workforce. I do not need to remember what moles were in Chemistry (what are they?) I do not need to remember the quadratic formula. We don’t need to know what the last battle of the Revolutionary War was.
High School should have a career resource center similar to colleges to help students prepare for internships, part time jobs, and give students someone to talk to when they start considering their future. There is a life other than/after college, but you wouldn’t know that if you walked into many high schools today.
High schools are not in touch with the current job market. You can be “anything you want” in this country, but you probably don’t even know most of the careers you can have when you leave K-12 school.
I realize these are all negative. Nobody likes someone who complains about a problem but has no solution. I plan to write another, more positive list like this suggesting some solutions in the future.