This is in response to Jan Simson’s post: Answer This Question
“Children are our future,” is not just a cliché line, it’s a fact of life. So, naturally we have to make an investment in our education system. If it was up to me, these are some of the steps I would take to improve the education system.
First off, I know that some schools are funded based on the performance of the students (particularly looking at test scores), which is why there have been reports of school officials falsifying the scores. This seems completely backwards to me. Why would you invest more money into a school with better scores opposed to one that’s struggling? With that being said, I would make sure that we focus our attention on schools that NEED funding and attention the most.
There needs to be a more equal playing field instead of just having “good schools” and “bad schools.” If this doesn’t happen, then I’m afraid that these “bad schools” will be stuck in a never ending cycle of bad test scores and a less than ideal overall performance by its students. Let’s stop abandoning those in the most need of help, shall we.
Another thing I would do is invest specifically in our teachers. The joke that teachers don’t make any money needs to end. A teacher’s salary should match the amount of work they put into the children who will eventually run our country. I’m not saying they should be making a seven digit salary, but the least we can do is pay them reasonably. If nothing else, it would encourage more people, who’d otherwise be discouraged by the pay, to get into teaching (and it seems like we need more teachers).
There’s a lot more I might do, but I’ll end on this one. Finally, I think we should change the teaching techniques a bit. When you think about it, school is about memorizing information for a class and then, when you don’t need it anymore, dumping it from your brain completely. I don’t think that’s an entirely affective way to teach and have the information stay with the student.
For me personally, most of the things I remember from school are in classes where I put the information into action in some way, shape, or form. For instance, I can tell you that I wouldn’t have even read the book “To Kill A Mockingbird” in high school (SparkNotes was my best friend back in the day) if it wasn’t for the Mock Trial we did in English class. Each of my classmates had a role in the trial and we actually took it very seriously. I don’t think the same could be said if we simply took a test about the plot and characteristics of each character.
I just think there should be more interesting approaches in teaching children where learning can be enjoyable. Of course, I know a lot of this is based on the specific teachers, but I think all teachers should be encouraged to put an interesting spin on their teaching style.