April 6, 2018
Submitted by Michael McKelvy, Workforce Matters
All across the country,we hear talk of an educational crisis. Most of that centers around test scores or rankings compared to other countries and of course funding. Taking out funding, because that needs its very own blog, what is the crisis really about?
Is the crisis based on test scores or is part of the problem what we are testing? Are we basing our data on outdated standards in the new digital learning world? Does a generation that has only known theinternet and data at their fingertips being tested on a slide rule scale. As an educator,I can tell you students are learning material at a younger age and a faster pace than ever before. We have middle school students learning things we once taught in high schools. Everything is being pushed down.
The educational crisis might not be young people or students. It might be parents, educators, and lawmakersthat are living in an educational system that is lagging way behind the learners.
Now I am not a big data person, but there are tons of papers and research about this practice and that practice what works best. I can tell you every location and situation are different and has different needs. But, education has become so broad and big. We want students to be great onevery subject and every activity. How do we measure that? Usually with test scores and grades. Granted we have to have some way to evaluate base knowledge we feel is important. But if that is the goal of education,then we should teach the studentto take tests. But what we really want is students to be innovative, problem solvers, and valuable contributors to society.
However, that is not what we teach. For example, let’s look at today’s student. They spend most of their time on phones or IPads or other technology, but do we in education require all students to take a class that focuseson those issues? No. Do we teach social and digital citizenship, a type of new civics classes for this and future generations.? No.
So maybe just maybe the students are not the problem. Maybe we adults are the crisis.
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