Sir William Haley once said, “Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they don’t know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it”. If students were guaranteed to leave school with knowing of what they don’t know and the desire to continue learning, the method of learning will be correct. Today’s education system does not give students the opportunity to enjoy what they are learning.
The banking method, where students are empty vessels which educators must deposit knowledge into, deprives them of creativity and the desire to learn. No child is given the chance to shine and be unique. Students today are simply being placed on a conveyer belt, sorted, and then labeled according to their so called intelligence. We need an education system that provides a slower learning method, a method where you focus on what is being learned instead of zipping through it, and the freedom to make mistakes as this will electrify and stimulate students to fulfill their potential.
We must recognize students as individuals and keep in mind their diverse backgrounds. In “Lives on the Boundary,” Rose states, “The canon has intended to push to the margins much of the literature of our nation: from American Indian songs and chants to immigrant fiction to working-class narratives” (100). The messages that are received from the text are crucial. The students need to be able to relate to what they have before them. One of the problems with today’s education system is we are given material to read, memorize, and expected to repeat it back at the snap of a finger.
But without the ability to relate and connect with the material, the learning doesn’t take place. Everything that is read or being said is just going through one ear and out the other. By adding relatable texts, you add life to learning. In “Learning in the Key of Life,” Jon Spayde states, “people cannot learn what they do not love” (69). When students are reading or learning about a subject they love, they are inspired and motivated to learn more. This alone can benefit the learning process for students. It becomes much easier to grasp concepts learned in class.
Today’s education system does not allow all students to thrive in their own way. It is fast paced with limited space for creativeness. We are given large amounts of information at a time and attempt to move as quickly as possible through all that we can. There is never “time” to stay longer on a topic. The instructors try their hardest to keep the pace, but this way of teaching does not benefit any student. In “Learning in the Key of Life”, Jon Spayde states, “…we are focusing far too much of our energy and resources on fast knowledge, ignoring all the richness and meaning slow knowledge adds to our lives” (68).
When the focus is on just getting through the material, we are skipping over the value and richness of slow knowledge. Instead of zipping through a lesson because it needs to be done by a certain day to move onto the next, the focus needs to be on what is being learned than making a time requirement. Spayde also states, “You can figure out what you can do pretty quickly, but the ethical understanding of what you ought to do comes slowly”. We need to adopt the slow learning method, without it we are missing out on more than we think.
There is so much more to learning than getting through the material, the purpose of it is to benefit and gain from it. With slow knowledge we will achieve this. One of the most important changes that needs to be done is the view on mistakes. In the article, “How to Make Mistakes,” Dennett states, “Mistakes are not just golden opportunities for learning; they are, in an important sense, the only opportunity for learning something truly new”. When fear is being put into a student to never make a mistake, their education is stunted.
They lose the ability to explore and take the chance of being wrong because they are repeatedly punished for being incorrect. When a mistake is made, students will learn where they went wrong and will then grow from it. The key to progress is making mistakes. The reason we are in school is to learn, but with this opportunity taken away from students their ability to learn is ripped from their grasp. Daniel C. Dennett also states, “You should seek out opportunities to make grand mistakes, just so you can then recover from them”.
Instead of using all of their energy to attempt to be perfect and run from being inaccurate, every student should look for every opportunity to be wrong. Without errors, the students can not accomplish much. If you look at Todays’ education system is in desperate need of change. No student is given the opportunity to show what they are fully capable of. Instead they are told what they can do. They are simply labeled and placed where they “should be”. But when students begin to pursue their mistakes and soak in the richness of slow knowledge, they will begin to truly learn.
Maria Montessori once said, “If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind? ”. If many students are having difficulty learning in the method we have created ages ago, why not change it? The time is now and there is no time to waste. We must refocus this outdated system to insure that the students will have a secure future and keep the standard of living that we have today.
Courtney from Study Moose
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