Friday, August 21, 2009
With education, I know everyone has something to say; some people are passionate about what we pay teachers and schools for, while some don't care, probably because they don't know education in one way or another affects EVERYONE..No Child Left Behind was a careless and clumsy government program that simply doesn't work, but does have good intentions. We all know it provides the wrong kinds of incentives for teachers, and does not focus on children actually learning anything.
Well consider this: if you go to a decent highschool, and a decent university, you will spend tens of thousands of dollars. And if you think about it, you will probably retain less than 5% of what is actually said in those classrooms. Two percent or less is probably more accurate.
The truth is that people, after a period of say, 2 years, will not remember much more than 5% of what was taught in the classrooms. But you paid tens of THOUSANDS of dollars for it! Still, your employer looks at your degree and ranks you above someone without college education! Imagine how useful our educational system would be if people retained up to 50% of the material taught in these classrooms.
There are different ways we retain information. Some believe that if you can teach another person what you have learned, you will remember more clearly what you learned. So imagine if for a semester exam, you were to go to the professor's office and give a presentation on the class and what you've learned, using a whiteboard if needed, but no notes whatsoever?
Imagine if students were taught fundamentals and then thrown out there to do some actual/mock field work where they could apply the knowledge? You see, the problem is that in college we are too often bombarded with theory and no practical knowledge, so we too easily forget the theory because it seems irrelevant and unnecessary..We then arrive to our first day on the job in utter shock! We feel like school did not prepare us for anything! But we deserve to be more than ready for the workplace. We deserve to have more than 5% of that knowledge when we paid for 100% of it. We must focus on ways to RETAIN the knowledge, rather than pass through the education system with notes and grades.
One solution to the current layout of schools and colleges is to change the way students are graded and evaluated. Instead of just grading students on how well they can remember formulas and bullet points, why don't we include grades for extracurricular activities, working part time, a peer review (where classmates grade each other on sociability and likability), etc. By including these factors in grading, we incentivise good behavior that will help individuals achieve success in later life. Please feel free to add you own comments. I appreciate them all. Code:111ER3RT