I would love to say that our education system is wonderful. I would love to say it is flexible and produces adults who are strong and mature. That is a lot of wishing.
I attended public school my entire life. I never went to kindergarten because where I lived it cost money and was considered something only the more wealthy did. Yet I graduated second in my class from high school. I started school in a rural system that didn’t offer much, yet I accomplished so much.
Well, I had a mother who taught me the alphabet and how to write before I started school. I had teachers who had the freedom to teach to the student and not to the government. So much has changed…and not for the better.
I homeschooled my children for a year and a half. In that time, my oldest finally caught onto math and became a genius at it. My son learned how to write an essay. Seven years later, he said he was the only one in his senior class who knew how to do it. It wasn’t my imaginary incredible teaching. It was the fact that the focus was on the student and making sure they got it before moving on. That was the key.
Our education system of today is focused on results. That sounds okay until you focus on the results they are focused on. Standardized tests are created which are thought to show how well the students are performing under the school system. Again, it might sound good until you realize that the teachers are teaching to pass the test and not to actually teach the child.
My husband was a teacher for over ten years. During that time, he was constantly under the gun to reach sections of the subject by a certain time while sacrificing a large percentage of his teaching time to various standardarized tests. His students were failing to grasp anything, but they appeared to be succeeding because they were able to memorize for the tests and then forget it.
Should it be better if students can reason out a problem than spit out the answer? There is the old saying that you can give a man a fish to eat for the day or you can teach him to fish to eat for a lifetime. It appears we are giving our children the perverbial fish and not teaching them how to stand on their own.
My two oldest have since graduated and left to be on their own. They both have said that school never prepared them for anything they encountered in the real world. They were never taught how to manage their finances, look for jobs, or how to take care of their home. Yes, an argument could be made that they could learn that at home. In that case, they can learn biology, history, and literature there as well. Maybe that is why so many homeschooling children are excelling in the real world far beyond that of traditional educated graduates.
The news reports how large individual’s debts are and how the number of bankruptcies are rising. It is a crises that could have been averted if our school systems had focused more on teaching our children how to be reliable citizens. There are reports on how new graduates can’t hold a job, maintain cars, or figure out common sense stuff.
Lately, I have interacted with various adults from all walks of life. They all had in common that they couldn’t use reason and logic. I noticed how they had to be spoonfed to do their jobs instead of trying to solve the problems on their own. How can we say that our school system was successful in that they graduated when they can’t do basic everyday tasks?
My oldest struggled in math. When she went to ask the teacher for help, he never had time. Told her to go back to her back and ask her parents for help. We met with the teacher to be told that he did not have time to help her understand. He had deadlines he had to meet and have the kids at a certain part of the math book. How could that make sense to an educator?
We need to revamp our educational system. We need to get back to the reason we educate: to raise up the next generations who can take us further than we ever have dreamed of being as a race.
Then how do we do it? There is no easy answer. There never is. First we have to get our nation’s leaders to agree to it. Well, we can stop right there and just continue as we have. They rarely agree on anything and will change sides just to stick to the opposing party. Their concern has nothing to do with giving our children a quality education. If they did, they would be focusing more on how to improve it instead of how to leave their party’s mark on things.
Maybe we should remove education from the hands of politicians. Is that step one? I would love to see an educational system that taught children basic life surviving techniques as well as giving them insight into areas where they can further their studies. Maybe I’m just dreaming about something I can’t have.
But Martin Luther did it — https://owlcation.com/humanities/Martin-Luthers-Humanism-Education