How Can We Fix Our Educational System?Oct 1st, 2011 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: How to Fix the Educational System
Who’s willing to defend the current state of our public education system here in the U.S.? No takers?
Fact is, few of today’s parents who received a public education would recognize their children’s learning experience as being on par with their own. Like many educators and parents, I’ve heard about a million different opinions about how to fix our educational system. So with America leading in school spending but under performing other industrialized nations at every educational turn, how do we get our educational system back on track?
Here’s a quick take on three of the issues experts agree face our educational system.
1. Listen Up.
Traditional schools generally teach using the method known as auditory learning; the kids listen…and they learn. But the problem is, they don’t learn. Less than ten percent of children are auditory learners, preferring instead hands-on or visual learning. (There’s a reason the venerable radio made room for television in our lives.) Kids who excel with less commonly-used teaching methods may fall behind or be reclassified.
Solution: Schools Need Resources to Help Children Succeed. Students should be encouraged to learn in a style that best suits them, and sufficient staff needs to be available to facilitate different learning styles.
2. Support the Students.
American students are falling behind…there’s no question about it. Our students lag behind students in Asia and Europe, and their testing results are even more pronounced in math and science. Worse still, with no push to change the situation, our children will continue to fall further and further behind the rest of the industrialized world.
Solution: Focus Extra Attention. Students that fall behind should have access to additional help, whether it’s in the form of longer school days, access to the best teachers, or tutoring. The fact is, individualizing education not only maximizes a child’s chance of success, but also can help build their self-esteem. Treating a reading problem today might save years of special education later. Discovering that a child is an auditory learner instead of a visual learner early on in a child’s educational career can keep them at the leading edge – instead of the trailing edge – of learning.
3. Help the Parent Help You.
Parents go off to work and children go off to school each day. But schooling doesn’t end in the early afternoon when your kids get back home. Since so many families require a two-income household with 60+ hour work-weeks to pay the bills, helping their children with homework isn’t necessarily an option. And because so much in-depth learning has been cut from school curriculums, even parents of traditional school students are being called on to practically homeschool their kids at night.
Solution: Get Mom and Dad Involved. One part of the solution involves better teaching for the students – as mentioned above – to identify problem areas. But schools also need the resources to reach out to student’s parents, engage with them and – where needed – assist with adult education to bring the parents up to speed. It’s hard to help your kids when a quick review of the latest chapter of the textbook leaves you equally frustrated. And it’s a cold, hard fact: one in three adults cannot read this sentence.
Blame for all of the problems facing our educational system is spread far and wide. Most experts agree that better funding combined with fundamental innovative improvements can help jumpstart our crumbling educational system. The media, parents and the blogosphere all seem to be in agreement: Why are we cutting education funding? Public schools, long under the budget knife, are definitely feeling the pinch. Programs are being cut wholesale, and – in some states – so is the school week itself. Some school districts around the nation are working to downsize from a five-day school week to four days in an effort to stretch the education budget.
With today’s economic environment, however, radical change seems unlikely. In fact, education will probably continue to experience massive cuts as states around the nation deal with budget shortfalls and stimulus spending dries up. With few workable solutions currently on the table in Washington, taking steps to improve childhood education seems to lie solely in the hands of concerned parents – and that’s why homeschooling may be the right choice for your family.
Have you been thinking about homeschooling because of what is happening in your school district?
Additional homeschooling posts:
A Single Parent CAN Homeschool: A How-To Guide
Divorce, Death, and Deployment are Facts Of Life, but They Shouldn’t Mean the End of Homeschooling There is no shame in being a single parent.
When Moms Have to Work: Why Homeschooling Can Work for Working Parents
In Tight Financial Times, More Homeschool Moms than Ever Have to Work Part-Time Our finances are just too tight to get by on one income anymore, how in the world can I work AND homeschool my children? It’s a question plaguing many families today, as the economy continues to flounder and the cost of homeschooling is not always cheap.