Learning Environment

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Albert Einstein, a famously mediocre student, once commented that "It is little short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not completely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry." Many educational theorists and gifted teachers have taken this to heart and endeavored to create learning environments that reflect innovations that are both intuitive and ingenious. This paper shows, that, unfortunately, we often see these same innovations stifled at the high school level. Whereas the elementary grades have always been seen as a test market for innovation and have led to such new methodologies as multimedia education, the use of role play, and a team approach to the comprehension of new subject matter, the high school environment is seen as a sacred cow where entrenched methodologies are not to be tampered with. The paper argues that, from a sociological perspective, high schools serve to propel a community's best students to the university level where they will ultimately develop professional characteristics that will allow them to return value to their home town or city. Yet, the paper shows, that from a pragmatic perspective, administrators are quick to replicate methodologies that are proven to effect a positive result in measurable terms. In a good school, these measures could consist of SAT scores and the caliber of university placement; in a struggling school, administrators must insure that students are able to pass basic state tests and that drop-out rates remain low. The paper argues that, while these goals are admirable and in some respects immutable, they only serve to underscore the need for innovations designed to enhance the learning environment. Paper Outline Introduction Learning Styles-based Education at the Secondary School Level Learning Concepts and Education The High School Environment: Putting it all Together Conclusion
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