Hi everyone! Your presentations are on Tuesday. Remember to email me your slides by noon on Tuesday. (At email@example.com) Don’t email me on the OpenLab!
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Also– if I asked you to make an appointment with me, please do so! That is David, Josh, Santi, Brianna and Waleed!
As I read the essays in my group, it told me a lot about education in America. As I can relate to my peers we don’t find it comfortable and fun. We should be able to learn in an environment where we are comfortable and could relax. Based on what I read, I feel like some ways to improve our education system is by expanding the horizon. We need to ask the students what do they need to learn instead of the teachers just throwing concepts at us. Haider’s title of his essay says it all. He can tell what time of the day it is because he’s always skipping his history class. Do you know why he’s missing that class? Because he’s not motivated. The education system needs to train their teachers to motivate these students to not be another Haider. I feel like the education is failing because their more focused on how many kids are in the school rather than teaching. I feel as if its more business then caring about our needs. Also, we need to take away the exams. The exams don’t define a student’s intelligence. It only measures a students memory. We as students need to learn and be taught at our own pace. Also, as I was reading Karina and Jay’’s essay i thought to myself that in NYC we have a large number of caribbean families. So why not we just incorporate teachings from the caribbean and implement them in our so when students who come here from the caribbean will be more comfortable.
A week from today, the 26th, you will be doing presentations on education. These will be:
- Approx 6-7 minutes
- Will refer to the themes of your education narratives– what did you guys bring up in the work you’ve written already? THIS IS KEY!!
- Will quote from some of your education narratives.
- Will incorporate the work of EVERYONE in your group somehow (you’ll evaluate each other!)
- Will have a visual component
- Will teach your audience (us!) something
- Will include new research
- And will answer one or both of the following questions:
- What are some of the core problems with education in America?
- What are some of the first steps we can take to improve the education system?
Please, please please do not oversimplify your answers! I am asking you for “first steps” for a reason– these are big questions, and over-simple answers do not do them justice. If you’ve proposed solutions in your blog posts for today, that’s fine– but think of those as starting places for your research.
How do you get started? It’s up to you, but here are some ideas if you’re stuck:
- First of all, look at what you’ve written. What are some of the themes throughout the group? What can you learn from each other?
- What topics could you research related to those themes? I like to use the KWL+ rubric for research. That is, I write about what I K(know) about a question or theme, and then what I W (want to know.) Then I do a little bit of internet research, maybe 10 mins or so. Then I write about what I L(learned) from that research and what I (+) Still want to know. This helps me get to some good research.
- What do you think your audience needs to know? What is the best way to deliver that info in a way that will keep them interested?
Some of you have group members who are gone today. Both Hend (group 3) and Lenesha (group 4) have spoken to me about having to miss class. You should give them assignments and we will contact them to let them know what those assignments are.
Here are some of the questions you wrote in class last week. They might help you think about your presentations. Only use them if they help with the assignment above. Don’t let them sway you from keeping to your group’s theme!:
- Do you agree with Sir Ken Robinson that the education system should change from pushing a very generalized style of learning to a more individual tailored style?
- Do you agree with Robinson that the focus on standardized testing keeps students from true learning? What is a better alternative?
- Is education an anesthetic to young people? Does it have to be?
- Sir Ken Robinson claimed contemporary education systems are stuck in the past. Based on your experience with today’s way of teaching, how should we change or “modernize” the American education system?
- According to Robinson, a college degree doesn’t guarantee a successful future, as it once did. How does this motivate or discourage you as a college student?
After reading my groups essay, I realized that we all had a similar theme of having two different situations in which we had to adapt to. My essay was focused around having to combine my cultures, some of the essay’s from my group focused on different school environments, another essay was about moving from one country to now New York City, and so. From reading all the essay I think we all agreed on how not only the teachers can affect our learning, but the environment within the school can also affect our learning too. To better our education system teachers and even principals should be more understanding and not judgmental to students. Everyone has a different way of learning and yet we are still forced to follow the same rules dictated by those who have control over our learning. There needs to be a balance of strictness that is more flexible within schools that doesn’t make students feel like they can’t be themselves or causes them to grow a hate not only for the school but for learning as well.
The learning environment is also very important in schools that are created by not the staff members, but also from the students in the school. One of my group members speaks about her experience with students from Columbia and her experience here in the United States. The students were more welcoming and wanted to start a friendship whereas here in the U.S. our teachers may be more likely to spark a connection between students at a younger grade level. There might be a way to change students behavior to make them more friendly and decrease bullying, but certain behaviors often come from home and not necessarily the school environment. Even though these behaviors may start at home, there can still be a way to encourage better relationships throughout schools in the United States.
While attending school, everyone will usually talk about English, math, or science. Every other subject is typically generalized or never mentioned for being considered an extra class. Taking a physical education or arts doesn’t even get considered an actual subject that affects academics heavily. It’s easy to forget that things like arts are apart of education too. Learning doesn’t have to be about where certain punctuation can go or how to add some numbers. For example, Michael learned how much small interactions can mean to certain people. That’s a lesson most people won’t even consider to be as education. The current education system focuses a bit too much on math and English, this can be seen through standardized testing. The two subjects, math and English, are probably what hold back students across the country. Looking back at when I took the Catholic high school standardized test, I only got into my high school for something that didn’t test my math or English proficiency, but my ability to learn. There was a whole section grades called ability which simply tested your ability to understand and solve puzzles quickly. I kind of wish that education tested students in a variety of topics that test ability in some form and apply an education to their strengths. It’s a bit of a utopian idea but it’s something that would help many people learn things outside of words and numbers. But then again, there are some things that only life experiences can teach, such as a fear of falling under the pressure or how much of a difference you can make by yourself.
SCHOOL IS HARD! NO MATTER WHAT TEACHERS, PARENTS OR SIBLINGS SAY. THEY DONT KNOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT SCHOOL. LEARNING CAN BE MUCH HARDER FOR YOU THEN IT WAS FOR THEM. I BELIEVE SCHOOL SHOULD BE UPGRADED JUST LIKE THE IPHONE. EVERY YEAR THEY CHANGE IT AND MAKE IT BETTER FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN AND PASS THEIR CLASSES. FOR EXAMPLE STARTING WITH HIGHSCHOOL ATTENDANCE WOULD REALLY HAVE TO MUCH NEGATIVE AFFECT ON YOUR GRADES. HIGHSCHOOL SHOULD BE ALL ABOUT GETTING TO KNOW WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT. HIGHSCHOOL SHOULD TEACH YOU ALL ABOUT LIFE PROBLEMS YOU MIGHT FACE AND SOLUTIONS TO ALWAYS REMEBER. THEY SHOULD TEACH YOU ABOUT CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS, HOW TO SAVE MONEY AND INVEST IT SO YOU CAN MAYBE MAKE MONEY OFF OF THAT. THEN COMES COLLEGE WHERE I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD TAKE CLASSES OF ALL THE BASIC SUBJECTS. BUT THE THING ABOUT COLLEGE WHICH IS TOO HARD IS THE MIDTERM AND FINALS. WHEN PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD HAVE CHILDREN SUICIDING THEN YOU KNOW SOMETHING IS WRONG. I BELIEVE THAT INSTEAD OF MIDTERMS AND FINALS COLLEGE SHOULD SPLIT IT INTO 4 TESTS THAT THEY GIVE THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER. NOW THAT YOU KNOW THE BASIC SUBJECTS AND KNOW ABOUT HOW TO SOLVE LIFE PROBLEMS ITS TIME TO ACTUALLY GO OUT THERE AND EXPERIENCE THEM.
Some ways that I think that could improve the education system based on reading my peers essays would be having teachers that don’t belittle you or single you out based on your appearance or religion. Or based on your knowledge. I had many experiences where I would get belittled and compared to others which really could mess with a person. I think a way that could improve the education system is to train the teachers better on how to deal with students, whether it’s education wise or not. You never know what the student is going through outside of school. Also, another way that I think could improve an education system is not base your entire grade based on one final exam. That’s really messed up and is not fair because what if a student wasn’t feeling good on the day of the final? Or is going through something mentally or physically? You could be getting As in every assignment but if you mess up in the final you basically fail the class. All the hard work and effort goes to the garbage, that’s one major thing that should definitely change in the education system. That actually happened to me before in high school during junior year. I went through alot mentally. Anxiety, depression, it was a lot to handle with school. It also affected my health so I ended up going to the hospital and stayed there for several weeks to get better. That was toward the end of my junior year and it was around finals week when i forced myself to attend school so i could pass junior year. All year i was doing great in all my classes and getting straight As. Highschool wasn’t as hard. But my finals messed me up because of my mental and physical health, i couldn’t focus. All because the education system gives you your final grade based on one exam which is the final. Which lead to me not doing so good in the classes because it was all based on the final. In my opinion, that should really change. Not only that it isn’t fair, but also it’s a burden on many of our (students) backs and has us so stressed that we could mess up on the final.
While reading my group’s essay, most of us share a common theme. The expectations that we are pressured by our peers and families. If very stress inducing that if we fail, the feeling will never go away. Some ways the education is system is failing, probably because the subjects that is offered in high school does not peek a students interest and may not even try to continue school. Throughout our entire lives, the classes we take so far is just mainly focus on the “tests” like common core, regents, and the SATs. School isn’t to encourage a person to find motivation is learning and is just focused on following the norms that everyone does to get a degree/successful. Before heading to college, when Joshua went onto high school. they system that should be incorporated in our high schools. During my high school life, students were constantly re-arranging because many people who didn’t pass the regents were put into specific classes. They also had another teacher to assist them in their education. This would really mess up people who had IEP and wasn’t in those classes that should have a second teacher to support them. So my classes was never shorten in my senior year, and my time during high school(freshmen to senior year). Some other ways is the teachers having a passion to teach, while it may seem that teachers just out there to fail a student by making it more complicated than it already is. Some ways is being more open to the students who are respectful towards them and wants to be in that class.
The book is HERE (that’s the cover up there!)
Sorry it’s a little late. I was waiting on an essay.
Here’s the deal: Click on the “HERE” above and you’ll get to the class eBook. I put everyone in a group (I am very sorry that I couldn’t fit all requests. They just didn’t all work!! Some of the people requesting were just writing about totally different topics.) If you click on your group in the table of contents of the PDF in the link I’ve given, it will take you to your group.
Your homework is to read all the essays in your group. Think about what these essays as a group tell you about how education (both in and out of school) is working in the US and beyond. What, from what you have read of your peers’ writing, might be some concrete ways to improve the education system? Don’t say “better teachers” or “better classes.” Tell me what you mean by “better!” Or, on the flip side, what are some concrete ways that the education system is failing? Use SPECIFIC examples from student writing– and look for connections between the essays!
Please write a post of approx 250 words on OpenLab responding to the above questions.
Spoiler Alert! The Questions in red above will be guiding questions for your presentations.