Friday, April 12, 2024

An Education Change Is Gonna…Wait. It’s Here.

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( Sam Cooke said it, and his voice definitely believed it.  Now it is our turn. The American Education System has banked on children having a physical location with actual human beings in order to teach.  Education reforms like “No Child Left Behind”, “Every Student Succeeds”, and “All Means All” have worked to change some aspects of education.

Then, coronavirus said “Uh…not if you want to live. You may want to rethink that, player.

The pandemic has made family and educators alike realize inequalities that exist. Some states had an easy transition from school to home. Some were scrambling at the last minute to put something together.  With something so precious as knowledge and understanding, why are we so careless?

We could place the blame on different people, places, and things.  We do not have the time to do that. Change has to happen now.  It starts with requiring the education system, the family household, and technology to work together to create an effective environment of learning.

US Education has spent many years criticizing the actions of other countries, but we have spent little time actually creating a system that works for our students.  While watching these other countries, our students still perform poorly on assessment,  graduate without the ability to read or do basic math, and are not prepared for the next grade level.  If education wants to survive after this pandemic,  we have to adapt based on our gaps and build.  Students now have access to basic information through information-based websites and social media.  Some of these sites even attempt to analyze for the students.  Instead of rejecting this type of knowledge,  the education system needs to embrace it. Let the students read to understand basic knowledge and comprehension.  We facilitate synthesis.  We help these students decipher fact from fiction.  We help them relate and connect through empathy.  We help them develop their own opinions but respect everyone else’s.  All of the aforementioned traits help create a well-rounded student that is prepared for the world and what they learn at home.

Hold up, Household,  you are valuable too.

Parents have expected teachers to “pick up the slack” when it comes to teaching.  Conversely, teachers have expected the same from parents.  This is NOT happening. Both of us are not doing our job.  This creates a gap in learning.  For the future of education,  both of us have to work together in order to close the gap and build better citizens.  Educators need to communicate more with parents to learn about their students’ home life.  We also need to invest more time in building relationships with our students instead of just trying to get them in and out of our class.   Parents need to stop being so afraid of teachers understanding their children. Parents also need to know that it is ok to teach your own child outside of school. Let them help you with taxes, paying bills, and making a house budget.  Those skills are just as important as analyzing for the meaning of a character’s actions in a fictional text.  We give the students the social interaction they need to thrive in American society.  Technology can assist with giving them the tools to be a conscious yet involved citizen.

What can technology bring to the table?  A lot.  Even in this past decade,  Google Earth, NoRedInk, and Pear Deck websites make education easier for the student and the teacher. It has also caused a rise in plagiarism and apathy in the student and teacher alike. Teachers pay other teachers to make lesson plans. Students incorrectly use websites like Wikipedia to answer questions.  This has increased during the pandemic because of all the last-minute changes and adaptations. However,  technology now has the chance to develop programs that do not just make information easier to find.  They can create research and valuable learning that help develop the whole child.  They can develop simulations for parents to use to teach about household budgets and taxes. They can create programs that allow students to take the knowledge and apply it in different scenarios.  Technology has the power to help teachers and parents alike!

It is funny how Sam Cooke’s lyrics can apply to the current education system.  State and Federal education agencies do not want to collaborate.  Online education companies are knocking other companies’ down just for financial compensation.  Parents are running trying to find out ways to help their children keep the fire of knowledge lit in these despairing times.  It is possible for all of us to get over the bridge together and have policies in place that can help us operate long after Coronavirus has a cure.  The change is not coming. It is here. We need to figure out a plan before we are on our knees.

Staff Writer; J. W. Bella

May also follow this talented sister online over at; JWB Writes.

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