I haven’t quite worked out all the nooks and crannies of a new system. Our education system has had very few reforms in the last century. This archaic system may have worked when it was initially created, but now it can barely hold up in modern times. The few changes made in recent years have also proven to do more harm than good.
Currently our education system focuses more on numbers and accountability then actually teaching the material. Curriculums have been standardized when in fact the zone of proximal development (level of challenge presented to students in order to enhance learning) varies among students. Currently I am assisting in a kindergarten class where one third of the students are above average, one third is at average level, and the last third is struggling to keep up. The standardized curriculum works for only one third of the class. The other students are either bored or frustrated. The one teacher in the classroom can’t tailor her lesson for each student.
I don’t know enough or have done enough for research to be able to construct a new education system or implement any reforms, but I have a few ideas. The first thing I would add to the current curriculum for grade school is an emphasis on grammar. My school barely had a lesson about proper grammar use, and in turn has caused a detriment to my generation. Another is an emphasis on technology.
While I believe the basics should still be taught such as grammar, math, social studies, English etc., we need to acknowledge the growing importance of technology. The future of America should be able to utilize technology for more than the latest social media.
Another reform I would implement is team-based learning from an early age all the way through high school. While personally I may not be a fan of group work I think it is vital to future generations. For the most part we are taught to do our work independently except for those rare occasions. Yet when we graduate from school and shift into the workforce we rarely work individually. While we may have our own responsibilities, we also have employees and employers. Not one successful company is run by one person. The work force is constantly working with teams and in constant interaction with co-workers. Our education system should reflect this and prepare younger generations.