Why The Education System Is Failing America | CNBC Marathon

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Why The Education System Is Failing America

For at least the past 100 years, our society has been obsessed with the importance of education. From the playground to the classroom, most of us spend a large part of our day learning.

But is constantly learning really that beneficial? What has constantly being "taught" in schools actually achieved?

One could argue that the rise of ‘self-help’ literature, as well as the emergence of non-fiction film and YouTube channels, have changed the way we look at knowledge and learning. Individuals are now more likely to seek knowledge and understanding on their own rather than rely on someone else to teach them.

As a result, more and more people are ditching the traditional classroom setting and exploring other ways of education, such as online learning and self-directed study.

What is Self-Directed Study?

Traditional classrooms are highly structured, with teachers passing out worksheets and having students follow a prescribed path through the material.

Self-directed study allows students to discover the material for themselves via engaging with either an interactive whiteboard, course material, or both. Rather than having a prescriptive approach where they tell you what to learn, educators and students can work together to define the learning outcome and then map out a plan to achieve it.

This collaborative approach allows for personalization and allows for mistakes to be corrected on the fly. Self-directed study also promotes a deeper level of understanding as students actively participate in their education rather than just passively receiving it.

In some cases, students can opt out of attending certain classes and instead do all of their studying online. When this is coupled with the freedom to schedule their own study times, it provides them with a better balance between schoolwork and personal life. This is something that is lacking in the traditional classroom setting.

Why Are Students Rejecting Traditional Classrooms?

There are a number of reasons why students are rejecting traditional classrooms and opting for more self-directed methods of learning.

  • The fear of missing out
  • A desire to be independent
  • A need for flexibility
  • A recognition that students are knowledgeable and can educate themselves
  • A greater sense of ownership and pride
  • A preference for non-fiction over fiction
  • A need for relevance
  • A preference for real-life application
  • A greater respect for adults

It is important to note that while these are all positive trends, they can also lead to students becoming completely disconnected from reality. If students are driven only by what is most convenient for them, rather than what is best for their long-term personal or social development, then this could have dangerous consequences.

Is Traditional Education Even Important?

Is learning always a good thing? Should we not question the value of constantly learning?

It is true that learning can be highly beneficial. In a modern world, being knowledgeable about the ‘why' behind something can be extremely beneficial. In medicine, for example, knowing the anatomy and physiology of the human body can allow a doctor to better diagnose and treat his or her patients.

However, it is also true that much of what we have been taught in school is irrelevant to day-to-day life. If a student happens to be studying agriculture in school, they will learn a lot about plant and animal biology. However, unless they decide to become a farmer or a vegan, they will never actually USE the knowledge.

This is why many individuals are ditching the traditional classroom setting. They no longer see the value in spending twelve to fourteen hours a day, for several days a week, in a classroom setting. As a result, they are exploring other methods of education, such as home schooling and independently studying.

Why Home-Schooling?

One of the most obvious reasons why students are pursuing home-schooling is because they no longer see the value in spending so much of their time in school.

With fewer and fewer students showing an interest in staying in school for the long term, many families are turning to home-schooling as a way of instilling a love of learning in their children.

  • It offers a familiar and comfortable setting
  • An opportunity to teach children responsibility
  • Families can tailor the education to their child's needs
  • It means children can learn at their own pace
  • And it means they can spend more time with their family

There are also a number of legal benefits to home-schooling. In some cases, homeschooling can actually protect the family from legal liability if certain conditions are met. If a student is studying for their tenth-grade science exam at home and they accidentally ingest a poison known to cause birth defects, the school district cannot be held liable for the harm caused by the toxin. However, if the same student was being taught by a private tutor at the same time, the tutor could be held liable for any harm caused.

This is why, in most cases, it is advisable for students to opt for home-schooling. It is a great way of allowing them to pursue their studies in a more relaxed and informal environment while still meeting the needs of the school system.

What Special Needs Classes Should Students With Autism/Asperger's Take?

One of the things students with autism or asperger's struggle with is social skills. These are the skills that make us ‘human'. Being able to relate to and understand the feelings of others is vital to have in this day and age.

However, it is difficult for students with autism to understand the motivations of others. They usually have a difficult time reading social signals and may misinterpret them. This can cause major problems, especially in school where it is crucial that students are able to read social cues correctly.

This is why having special needs classes for students with autism is so important. It provides them with the opportunity to learn social skills and understand what other people are saying and feeling. The classroom can then be structured in a way that is beneficial to both the student and the teacher.

There are also a number of advantages to having specialized classes. In some cases, having specialized teachers who have taught the same subject for many years can make a huge difference. They may be able to provide an outside perspective and help the student see things from a different point of view. They may also be able to provide guidance and support when needed.

Why Is Distance Learning Popular?

It is no secret that students want to learn at their own pace. Thanks to the internet and platforms like Zoom, it is now possible for students to learn at the tap of a button.

A number of studies have shown that distance learning provides many advantages.

  • It can be used as an effective alternative to traditional classrooms
  • It can be used by more people than ever before
  • It can allow for more flexibility with studying
  • It can promote a greater sense of community among students and faculty
  • And it can help make teaching and learning more relevant to students' lives (Dewey, 1934)

It is clear that students want to learn at their own pace, in a comfortable environment, and they want to do this whenever and wherever possible. This is probably why so many are turning to online learning platforms and finding alternative methods of education, such as self-directed study.

What Type of Learner Are You?

Are you a self-directed learner who loves learning for its own sake? Do you prefer to learn by doing?

If you answered ‘yes' to both of these questions, then you are a perfect student for online learning. You will learn exactly what is needed and you will do it without being told. You will then move on to the next task independently.

However, if you answered ‘no' to either of these questions, then you might have a problem. You are not alone, as many students struggle with adapting to a traditional classroom setting. You will not learn as much in a classroom setting as you would if you were self-directed. You will need to identify learning styles and work with your teacher to ensure you are maximized as an individual learner.

Categories: Education
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