How can I change my school system for the better?
100% of 2 Students
As I was Sitting in my biotech class listening to my teacher talking about central dogma, She said something interesting; she said "you should remember this from biology freshman year. Everyone in the class said the same thing,"no I don't remember this." I wondered, why don't any of us remember anything we learned from previous years? As I pondered how my classes are structured and what we do on a day to day basis, I concluded that our schooling system values memorization over mastery. We are told to know a general set of knowledge; then we are tested on it a few weeks later. This type of learning gives students no room to fully master or develop a passion for what they are learning so they forget it in a quick amount of time. #school #learning #education #entrepreneur #classes
100% of 2 Students
This is such a big, deep topic, and if you talk to ten different people you may get ten different answers about what's wrong with the education system and why--even if you asked them to focus specifically on your question of why learning is memorization based rather than focused on mastery depth.
Here is my answer: Teaching people to memorize is easy. We know how human memory works, and we have good tools for developing it. Flashcards are still pretty excellent technology for this. And testing whether people have memorized something is easy. Those are right and wrong answers--you can use a multiple choice or short answer test, and even grade it with a computer!
Helping people develop content knowledge and related skills in a deep, lasting, meaningful way that allows you to use the knowledge in new situations is hard. It can't be done through lecture alone, usually--it requires things like activities, projects, discussions, writing assignments with lots of meaningful feedback, and sometimes one-on-one discussions with a teacher or tutor. That's really, really hard to do in a class with 30-40 kids and 1 teacher! And testing that kind of knowledge and skill is even harder! It takes real skill and a lot of time to write assessments that do that, and usually a lot of time to grade them and give meaningful feedback. You can't do that very well if you teach 2-3 classes and ~150 kids every day!
You ask how to make it better. I think the answers to that are complicated, and I don't think it helps you for me to tell you my best guesses. But the steps below are how I've learned more about this.
Keely recommends the following next steps:
- Research the history of education reform
- Research "cognitive psychology" and "learning sciences" to find out what we know about how humans learn best
- Look at the learning standards for your classes -- each state has a list of what you "should" learn in, for example, biology. Are you learning those things?
- Research who makes learning standards, and what their goals are.
- Fight for better funding for education, smaller class sizes, better training for teachers, and more respect for teaching as a profession
professor daniel’s Answer
Students don't any of us remember anything we learned from previous years, due to the
METHOD of teaching. Words (lecture) without experiential involvement teaching is a Lose-Lose interaction. You hear it once and maybe make a note, and never practice the new knowledge.
Long term retention of this method is negligible.
It is comparable to giving a 5 year old only a Powerpoint presentation on learning to ride a bike. :-)
We know how to educate based on 21st century ideas but we cling to our 19th century system. A sad commentary on Beachwood’s lack of commitment was they now have returned to the old egg crate format for teaching.
I hope that you can fight for students right to a 21st century classroom.
Rote memory was primarily a strategy used within our teaching and learning past and adds little valve in the global educational operation required in today's learning environment. The process of teaching and learning has evolved in more than learning the process of memorizing a fact. Today's educational institutions it's role is to assist students in the art of understanding how and why of a concern or problem that supports a broader platform of knowledge. Act of putting together a puzzle is just one step in its completion of a task. It is the why and meaning to it makeup and designed that support a boarder level of knowledge.
Teaching students the higher forms related to the hierarchy of knowledge is a recipe that speck of one's own ability to grow with the framework of a highly respected learner with the ability to transfer that knowledge to their students.
I think that starting clubs before or after school is a great way to allow more time for students to delve into subjects that capture their interest.
Joan recommends the following next steps:
- Have a positive attitude about your learning.
- Know that you are the owner of the information.
Patricia R’s Answer
A very large influence over a very short period of time – such as the 9/11 attacks. That was really BIG! The ripples are still spreading out from that one, and it’s not all good.
It might not sound encouraging to face that much of a challenge, but there is hope on a smaller, more achievable scale.
A few suggestions: See below
3. There are, of course, a bazillion more things you can do, but time and space here are limited. You are not.
By changing how you, as an individual, approach learning, it can make a difference in how you will be taught. Chicago Public Schools is too big to change at the speed that would do you the most good. But you can change yourself, and probably have an effect on some other people around you.
Patricia R recommends the following next steps:
- 1. Make yourself a better student. Ask your teacher for a trade-off of four days of lecture (or what ever the preferred method-of-delivery is) for one day of open questions and discussions. Then ask questions such as: a. What kind of technology is used to measure Global Climate Change? b. How do we know the instrumentation can be trusted? c. What are the scientists actually measuring? d. Would it really be so bad for the Earth’s temperature to rise? Then - Try to provide some answers (or at least new information) for the next discussion.
- 2. Connect what you did in one class (on one day) to a totally different area. Such as: a. Biotech to Social Studies (or whatever it’s called these days): How do the technology and information from worldwide health organizations affect the movement of large numbers of people during a pandemic? (Currently happening with the coronavirus from China – January 2020)