Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guest blogger: A Student's Thoughts about Modern Education

by Francesca Davies

In a modern classroom, students are at their desks, most of the day. As a student myself I personally think that teachers are being “forced” to teach students too much. What I am saying might be completely nonsensical in every way, but this is what I think.

I don't know much about education (but I do know some since my mother is interested in this herself) but I do know what I have seen sitting in a classroom myself. I see that children are bored and want to do what they want to do. If what they want to learn about how a gun works, shouldn't they be able to? I have a wonderful teacher, and I go to a wonderful school, but I have had one not-so-good teacher in the past. It was not that she was a bad teacher as such, but she did everything exactly how the textbook said to teach it.

On the back of my report cards are all of the things that I “have” to learn this year. And I literally gasp in horror when I saw the list! Three-fourths of the things on that list we haven't even gone through yet, and it's halfway through the year! That means that we will not be able to learn half of that in this year unless we try to cram way to many things into one six hour school day! That means that going into next year 5th graders (my grade) will not be fully prepared for middle school next year because those teachers will probably be planning their lessons to what 5th graders where supposed to learn the year before! If this continues throughout high school then (most likely) there will be more drop-outs! And that means that less and less students will get a good college education and a good job after that. Well, to be honest, when I get to high school my mother will have probably changed the model, but until then what's going to happen?

I don't like it when a teacher says to a student, “You have to learn it!” because nobody has to learn anything, right? I don't really like science very much, so I don't really participate in science conversations. I think the reason I don't is because in another grade we did “textbook science” every day for at least 30 minutes. I didn't like that one bit. We never got outside and looked for things in nature, we never did experiments, we just sat at our tables and read. I'm more of a hands-on person, so I hated that. But I know some who loved doing that because you didn't have to do any real work! And some who liked reading the books and gathering up the facts, but not me.

All right, now you can go on to more researched, more professional writings, but when you're rearranging schools, please think about the things I've said here.

4 comments:

  1. If you have not already, I would suggest both you and your mom read "Teacher Man" by Frank McCourt, the author of "Angela's Ashes." McCourt took a wholly unorthodox approach to teaching creative writing that was widely praised. I have two friends that were student's of his, and to this day they are grateful to have known him.

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  2. Science is so fascinating, Francie. I hope you give it a fresh look! I agree, much too much sitting at desks happens at school. It is not natural for children especially, who really need to move and act. Amy and Jane's favorite class has an awesome teacher who gets them acting the parts of the people they are learning about. They love his class, and have learned so much, because it is never boring! School should not be boring.

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  3. I love your post! As a middle school teacher I am constantly looking for ways to get my students interested in what I think are interesting things. I also listen to see what interests them. Thanks for your authentic point of view.

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