24 Thursday 2013
School: A place for learning, or for earning?
Consider some of the basic symbols of education in the United States: the textbook, the chalkboard, and the apple. Thanks to technological innovations and cultural forces, we’ve seen textbooks supplanted by videos and e-books, SMART Boards replace chalkboards, and the apple on the teacher’s desk pushed aside by the latest gadgets from, well, Apple. Just as our classrooms have changed significantly since the 1800s, so have our ideas about the purpose of schools. There needs to be change done to make sure that our students excel in their learning and the only way this will happen is if both the teachers and students both want this to happen. Two authors that I have recently been introduced to both believe that there is something wrong with our current school system and the way that we choose to educate our children. Now, the question is: what must be done in order to improve our educational system?
Now, my specific personal experience to this was in the sixth grade. In the sixth grade, my teacher’s name was Mr. Mike, and although there was originally one teacher for the class, Mrs. Pundavela, the class was too big for her to handle alone. I had been in Mrs. Pundavela’s class the fourth and fifth grade because at that school there were three grades to a class, so I knew how she taught and her methods and habits. Mr. Mike, however, was very different. Mrs. Pundavela was a very traditional teacher and believed that practice, along with severe corrections and minor embarrassment, made perfect. She gave a lot of writing assignments and quizzes in book club readings that it was ridiculous, but she was a good teacher. Mr. Mike’s class was very different, he allowed us to have silent reading to ourselves and we could discuss our books or not but he mainly focused on us comprehending the material for ourselves and not for him. Of course he would be there in case we...