A child asking "why do I need to learn this?" is more a reflection on
what he or she hears at home than how content is taught. The technologies are
being used because that is the context of how today's students will use
those skills when they enter the workforce. While our technologies
have changed, we still need strong reading, writing, and mathematical skills.
That won't change. A well-read employee will have better problem-solving
skills. A better writer will also know how to communicate more effectively with
co-workers. Strong math skills will help people budget their finances and keep
their places of employment from financial disaster. I agree that
students are tested too frequently, and we need better ways to assess their
skills and knowledge. Perhaps if we allowed the teachers to make those judgment
calls instead of the people who never step into the classroom, we would see
@The Real Maverick - um- no... my wife is an educator, and my company produces
software used in many school districts called Curriculum Pathways. I step in to
the class room regularly, and I hear about it across the dinner table daily.
The school my wife teaches at is actually a school that is considered
progressive in their teaching techniques - and scores well on EoGs. And yes,
they have things like magic boards and the like. So I am a little aware of what
is going on.But the end game is still the same. Assessing if a
child knows the subject matter hasn't changed. Because some kid memorized
a math formula doesn't mean they can put that skill to use in context. How
often do your hear kids say "why do I need to learn this"? Testing
doesn't prove a kid understands how to use a skill - just that they can
memorize.The obsession with the three R is backwards. Putting the
same material on a computer screen doesn't mean learning has been
revitalized. Teaching through memorization doesn't teach kids how to
think, interact or solve problems.
UtahBlueDevil:I concur with The Real Maverick. What you say is pure
nonsense. Teachers regularly use i-pads, cell phones, promethean boards,
youtube, computers etc. They regularly have students produce products where
they regularly required to use graphics, imbed videos, make presentations etc.
Again, what you say is a great talking point but further from the truth and what
the actual reality of what happens in schools today. Again, except the
challenge, go to a school for more than just a 10-minute drop in visit and
certainly go beyond what you hear on AM radio or what some disgruntled 15
year-old told you.
"How we teach hasn't changed in two hundred years."When
was the last time you stepped inside a classroom and actually stayed to watch
the entire lesson?Simple question. I'm an educator
and your comment couldn't be further from the truth. This is a
problem we have in this state (in particular). It is complete and utter
disrespect towards education from those who know absolutely NOTHING about
education. If you truly feel like teaching techniques, procedures,
strategies, styles, and materials haven't changed in 200 years then you
really need to get out and visit a classroom.
Whatever you do, please don't forward this to any politician. The last
thing you want to do is let a politician believe that he has an answer.
What we need to do is not worry about forcing kids to stay in school.... but
re-imiaging school and the learning process into something that is relevant for
the next century, and something kids want to be part of. How we
teach hasn't changed in two hundred years. And yet the world in which we
live - has. Reading things from a book isn't the only way to learn
anymore. A college degree isn't needed for many to gain the skills they
need to support themselves and their families. We need to step back, scrap the
existing notion of what the mission of a "school" is, and reinvent the
process around the real world or kids are growing up in.For the
great many, a two year trade certificate after high school is all they need to
have the skills to compete in a global economy. Not everyone needs trig....
lets stop educating to silly notions of what is needed to be smart and rather
teach to skills that will make kids be successful.