Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to Improve the Education System

References:
Ballantine, Jeanne H. (1989). Schools And Society. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield
Karabel, Jerome and A.H. Halsey. (1977). Power And Ideology In Education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Lazerson, Marvin. (1987). American Education In The Twentieth Century. New York, NY: Teachers College Press
Levine, David A. (2002). Building Classroom Communities: Strategies For Developing A Culture Of Caring. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree
Mayer, Susan E and Paul E. Peterson. (1999). Earning And Learning: How Schools Matter. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press
Mendler, Allen N. (2000). Motivating Students Who Don't Care: Successful Techniques For Educators. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree

Society is regularly called upon to make ethical judgments related to all aspects of schooling. These considerations of right and wrong are made when creating the school curriculum, practicing teaching and learning methods, and budget issues. Education is a vital part of society in which everyone plays a role. It is not only the role of parents and teachers to support a child’s education, but also the role of the whole society to provide a structure of living that supports what is being taught.

The purpose of education is to provide a way for others to learn. However, the motive of learning can vary. Some people may learn out of pure interest, whereas others may learn to be able to function in society by getting a job. Education can occur in any environment where there is a will to learn. Furthermore, learning is not dependent on a teacher or any institute but can also occur as self-learning. The best teaching methods are always those that are chosen by the student, not the teacher. Many students prefer learning methods in which they can apply their knowledge practically. Students learn effectively through hands-on experience. Apart from this, any exposure that can be provided to students of their area of study also helps the student learn their role and their future job within the society. Such exposure can be provided through field trips or inviting professionals related to the students’ field of study to address the students. Support can also be provided to students through alumni groups and career counselors.  In this way, the purpose of education and method of education depends largely on the learner or student, not the teacher or institute.

There are two main roles that schools play. The first role is towards their students. This is the relationship that the school maintains with its students. The other role is towards society. This includes the school’s participation in public activities such as fund-raising, organizing public events, or participation in any public demonstrations. The role of schools towards society also includes how schools prepare their students to be better members of the society.

We must realize here that the latter role of schools, namely that of allowing its students to be better members of society, is not the sole responsibility of the schools. It is true that we usually look upon the teacher and other school officials as the educational leader, role model, and decision-maker towards a child’s education. This is an unfortunate fact because teachers can never teach everything to students. Unfortunately, parents often use educational institutes as a way of neglecting their child. Many parents may show love and support for their child by admitting them to an expensive school. However, this has a negative effect when parents think that they can pay others to keep their child happy and educate them properly. Parents and society as a whole must take responsibility by helping students towards being better human beings. Communication and the ability to speak freely are also involved in this area. Teachers, parents and students must be willing to communicate with each other and discuss ways to improve the level of education. The learning community is not just restricted to students, teachers, and school authorities. The student must never feel intimidated of approaching others and speaking freely, whether it is to a teacher, parent, or anyone else they may encounter in their everyday life.

The school curriculum should firstly include that material which will be most useful to the student. If the curriculum deviates from what the student wants to learn then the student will quickly lose interest. In general education, the curriculum should be as vast as possible to allow students to learn about different subjects. In contrast, any curriculum of a specific subject or catering to a specific profession such as art, science or business should be more focused and practical in terms of helping the student later in their career. However, all curricula should also provide a basic level of education such as English and other life skills subjects that will help the student function more effectively within society.

Learning should occur in an environment that is healthy not just physically but also mentally and socially. Physical conditions do play a role towards how well the students learn. When teaching a large group of students the room must be well ventilated and be large enough to accommodate the students comfortably. These types of situations normally arise during school lectures or assemblies. However, it is absolutely crucial that every student also receives some individual attention. This can be done either by making the classes smaller so there are less students per teacher or arranging a schedule in which each student is allowed to have individual meetings with the teacher.

It is the purpose of teachers and institutes to teach relevant material effectively. Everyone learns differently for different reasons. To teach successfully, teachers must first learn about their students. They must assess what interests their student, why the student is attending their class, and how they can help the student learn. Teachers must act as tools of education and be approachable.