The American education system is in dire need of reconstruction. In some countries, such as Finland, all schooling is public, and there is a no competition type environment. In the highly competitive society that America has built itself it seems practically impossible to rid our psyche of its competitive nature. Not to mention convincing such schools as Harvard and Yale to become public entities would seem ridiculous. ?On the other hand, if schools were to find another approach to the way they presented information, to the technologically advanced culture of children we have today, the success rate and comprehension of students may improve dramatically.
Lectures straight out of books are no longer applicable forms of teaching. Once upon a time, the books for education were pent up in libraries. If you wanted to learn you had to go to a school or a university, for further education. From there you would fawn over the words your professor had scribbled onto a chalkboard or projector. They were the figureheads of education. Now, everything is online; If a student needs to know how to do something they can Google it, or use Wolframalpha, or search YouTube for an answer. Though the internet may be a vast universe of scattered and often incorrect information, sorry Wikipedia, there are also infinite resources for solid information that can last you a lifetime.
America’s educational problems are not wholly in one house of learning or another. Public education be it grade level, secondary or higher is all out of date. As always, the hindrance to new structures of learning is money. Luckily, the options for new forms of education are vast and, mostly, cheap. In the last ten years the internet has become a haven of informational sharing and connection. There are a lot of different hubs for knowledge and numerous ideas on how to tackle the internet as a main basis for teaching. Fortunately, there are learning centers such as Khan Academy that are revolutionizing the way kids and adults can learn. Below is a link to Kahn’s talk at TED where he elaborates on what Khan Academy really is.
In that TED talk, 2011, Salman Kahn spoke about how he began using YouTube to share algebra videos to tutor his cousin Nadia, who was in 7th grade at the time. His videos began to gain momentum and the users requested more. He soon quit his analyst job to begin Khan Academy, a YouTube channel devoted to creating a student paced learning environment.
In Palo Alto, California classrooms of 5th?and 7th?graders used Khan Academy to test its ability to further education. It was an incredible success and the students gave rave reviews. The channel is now in use by 26 schools around California to enhance their math curriculum. It is this type of technology should be the forefront of education. It will take trust and a little faith from American educational institutions to really allow programs, such as Khan Academy, to achieve success.
America is an ever changing society. Although the people and policy makers can be stubborn and resistant to change, change is what we desire. Starting over and doing what is right for our people is what this country is based on. We have had our troubles and consensus is hard to come to in a world of such diversity. But, when it comes our children and the future–whatever it may be–we can all agree education is the key.
Edited and published by CB