TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What do you feel the best education setting is for American kids?

It is pretty much agreed on a national level that public Education just cannot compete with the rest of the world. What setting do you think could work to better educate kids, while still being sustainable financially. Things to include would be Class Size, Programs (like magnet schools), and discipline.

Share:
  • thumb
    May 23 2014: Ryan, The simple and quick answer is one on one or as close as possible. The best for finances and focus on education is to get the government out of the education business and also the unions. Some form of accountability ... not the radical implementation the feds mandated last year ... in the charter business the accountability is in the parent, student, teacher involvement .. at the administrator level charters have a set amount of funding and have no options to adhearing to the budget. Testing is not the only answer ... how about demonstration / performance. How about self paced and competent / non-competent grading? How about all high school teacher being college certified instructor also and the curriculum being approved at the state university level. How about the novel concept of holding the student accountable and failing the non achiever thus providing a consequence. Maybe a dual curriculum with college prep and the other in manual arts and trades.

    Stop the high stakes testing. Take away the power of the testbook writers ad the test developers.

    Return the power to the states. Remove the Dept of Ed from Cabnet status ... originally they only provide a mission statement ... return to that and save billions.

    The first step in all of this is to remove the government from education and return to a Constitutional government.

    Be well. Bob.
  • thumb
    Jun 10 2014: "Public education" includes more than just the standard school model. This past school year, my grandson went to a new public charter school that just finished it's first year of operation. The educational model they are developing is very different from anything at the public school my grandson previously attended - with dismal results.

    They are a project-based learning school. The students need to come up with ideas for projects and, with the teacher/advisor's help, produce a plan for their investigations, experiments, research, do their work according to their plan, and produce a presentation, report, finished product or whatever to demonstrate what they have learned. In some cases, two or more students can work together on a project. They can even do this across grade levels. Grades 7 - 12 are all together in one large space and many things are done involving multiple grade levels. Although students have a particular teacher/advisor, they can also sometimes work with a different one for help with some particular project if that seems appropriate.

    For the most part, this is individualized learning with one-on-one guidance from their teacher/advisor for the student projects. Each teacher/advisor also spends some time with their whole group each morning. Sometimes they have a group discussion, sometimes they have a presentation of some sort - including watching some TED Talks! The one required "class" for each student is math, although there is a great deal of flexibility in the way individual students can actually do their math - as long as it gets completed - and they get individualized help if and when they need it. They also do a lot of reading. They never have any homework.

    They do go on lots of organized field trips and other fun outings. Individual students who have trouble sitting still and focusing for very long (like my grandson) are allowed to do supervised outings or activity in the gym to burn off steam so they can focus for a while again.
  • Jun 10 2014: Anywhere but America; with its none individualistic you must answer it this way regime, and an industrially orientated/corporate/profiteering mentality, aimed at producing uniformity and compliance (biological robots) rather than; open mined and free thinking citizens.
  • thumb
    May 22 2014: Mr. Scalia,

    Children, regardless of nationality or ethnicity, are all different from one another. Even identical twins have different traits and temperament. What may be a suitable educational setting for one student may not be appropriate for another student. What may be suitable in grade school may not be in high school or college.

    While a classroom setting is significant in some ways, the most significant, based on my years of experience both as a student and as an instructor, is the ability of the teacher to differentiate curriculum and individualize instruction.

    Giving the same lesson and using the same method of instruction to a group of twenty-five students in a middle school math class or any subject for that matter, only serves about 25% of the students, or approximately 4-6 students. Why? In a group of twenty-five middle school students, 25% are at grade level, 25% are one year below grade level, and the rest are either two, three, or even four years below grade level in basic math and reading comprehension.

    Motivation and attitude are the other two critical factors in any learning environment. How many students come to class motivated to learn? How many have the right attitude to go through the rigors of learning complicated math and science concepts?
  • May 21 2014: Elementary and secondary education fulfillment centers would benefit by hiring more male instructors. The sixties era thinking that education be a female only profession is as outdated as feminism. Most of the homes the children come from are female dominated with not much hope for a future. Male instructors would provide a positive role model and not a competing role model as is the case with an all female instructor base. The majority of failing schools are managed and staffed by lady instructors which is probably the answer to your question why public education cannot compete with the rest of the world. Prove me wrong. Look at the numbers. In the highly performing countries they will all have a majority of male instructors.