Education in the United States has been, and continues to be frustrating to everyone involved in the process. The necessary results aren’t being achieved.
While the world is rapidly changing, our education system seems to be lagging behind. The past no longer serves the needs of today’s learners.
Are we preparing our learners for the future?
Our traditional teaching approach of tell, drill and test won’t prepare them for a future we can’t even define. Teachers are tied down by rules, regulations, restrictions, mandates, testing, and most of them don’t want to risk their job by speaking out.
Parents struggle to make ends meet and seldom give their children quality attention. Families sitting together at dinner and sharing their day is becoming rare. Communities remain somewhat disinterested until it is time to vote on the school budget.
Governments continue to dictate when, how, and what is taught. Their focus has become more increasingly about the tests.
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Have things really changed?
I have worked in the education system for nearly 40 years in both public and private sectors. Looking back over these years I wonder, have things changed?
1. Schools remain teacher directed
Schools remain teacher directed and questions from learners are not welcomed. Learning is scripted through textbooks. Teachers have goals and objectives that make it easier for teachers to copy into plan books.
Assessments and tests is what is used to measure success and promotion. Learning time is wasted with busy work and non-essential activities.
Interaction and collaboration between learners is not encouraged (because they might be cheating). Technology, which has expanded our personal learning environment, is limited or not available in most classrooms.
2. Parent involvement
40 years ago, parent were actively involved in their children’s learning process. Now it only happens when the child misbehaves and the parent is summoned to the school.
Governments hold the purse strings that funds education. This ensures that schools, teachers and students comply to their terms and regulations.
3. Student frustration
The community I used as the springboard for learning has become unreachable for safety reasons. College – where test scores quantify learning – is still believed to be the only way to a successful career. Students are increasingly getting frustrated and find themselves ill prepared for their future.
Are We Different (in the USA)?
I have learned – over the past few years of traveling – that these same issues exist in other countries. The issues are all the same. Schools in the cities and ghettos to well-supported financially and no support at all. The issues are the same.
Even the ones with beautiful state of the art buildings and equipment. So does the ones with dirt floors and mud walls. However, they all voiced the same complaints.
Other countries look at the United States as being different. I don’t think that’s true. Is it a problem only in the United States, or is it a problem in every country? Are we facing a global illness in education?
I strongly believe that we are at a turning point in our history where there is a choice of widening the gap of inequalities or creating a system of collaboration with the understanding that the future of our world depends on it.
My experience as an educator shows that things are not different in the United States. What faces us in the United States are the same factors affecting the whole world. The good news is, we can still do something about it.
The Matrix of a Learner philosophy seeks to address these fundamental issues by providing a new approach to learning. Feel free to engage with our approach and let’s keep the conversation going. Our team is also available for training educators for purposes of transforming our children’s learning experience. You can also fill up the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.