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Taylor Kendal

Teaching with Primary Sources

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How do we reform education?

I recently witnessed a TEDx event in Colorado and heard Ramona Pierson discuss her philosophy on education - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5aHL2qd_08.

She believes there's an equation (ok, actually an algorithm) that can be used to prescribe a unique education path for every student. This idea comes in the wake of a near nationwide adoption of the Common Core Standards. Where do the resources in the United States currently need to be focused to assure positive progress in education?

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  • Aug 30 2011: I'm a high school student, and to me, the problem of the education system doesn't lie so much in the system itself as it does in how the system is being carried out. At my Canadian public school, there is no spirit, there is no class participation, there is basically no effort. I think that an easier solution than revamping the entire current system is to keep the one we have but get students more involved and responsible for their own learning, because no matter how you change the system, it won't be perfect. That being said, each individual can chase their own learning in a way that suits their particular needs if they feel inclined to do so. So, back to my original point, I don't think the system needs to be changed, but I feel that the system could be carried out in a better way. Some examples:
    1. Building a sense of "school community" by weekly assemblies where the only agenda is to keep kids updated on how the school is doing and how its students are doing.
    2. Having excellent role models be the leaders at schools - If kids have someone to look up to and someone who they don't want to disappoint, it will make them think more about trying to please the person at the front.
    3. PRAISE when it's good, PUNISHMENT when it's bad - There are too many empty threats that go around. If the school's rule is "Three lates = detention" then three lates should equal a detention, regardless of the teacher or the student. Being a good student, I could probably strategically place 5 late walk ins in the strictest teachers class and walk away with nothing, and that looks unfair to my fellow students. That being said, in some teachers' classes the worst kids can come in halfway through class every day and get no punishment. Teachers need to present a united front in their discipline so that kids gain respect for their school. Not only that, but if kids are doing something well, special time should be taken to praise them.
    Those are my suggestions.
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      Aug 31 2011: Great to hear your perspective given your current entrenchment in this very topic. Thanks for the thoughts, and I would imagine your participation in a forum such as this already puts you well ahead of the game :)

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