Education, I’d have to say it’s the one thing that many students complain about everyday but inside secretly enjoy like the song “Call Me Maybe”. Even though I might not be fond of getting up at six everyday to go learn, I know many parents around the world would kill for their child to have the opportunities I have in the society I live in. I receive a world-class education, with many opportunities to further my learning at a college or university. It isn’t only the knowledge I get from these institutions that is amazing but the teachers and fellow students that are also outstanding.
These instructors are very well educated and know how to teach every class with the right style of teaching, and I believe this is the most important part in the education process. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. ” Here in the United States we are lucky enough to potentially be one of the biggest changes in the world. Compared to other countries where children are arguably set up for failure, here, in America, teachers are made to hold our hands and show us the road to success.
From infancy most kids are taught the importance of education, but I don’t think people in America fully understand how fortunate they are to have the privilege of nice, well-funded schools. When I went to India with my father he would tell me how they would spend countless number of hours just copying notes off of the board because they would only have one copy of a textbook and that was for the teacher at his old school in India. Students in the United States are very lucky to be able to take home a textbook home everyday if needed.
High schoolers complain about how their backpacks are too heavy because of the amount of books, and how it is a hassle. Students should actually be thankful for this because other kids around the world pray everyday that they would be able to own a textbook to take home with them. Many schools around the world, including my father’s old school, do not have attendance. Many students from Palatine High School would hear this and become very jealous, and they would never show up if they didn’t have to.
I believe this is actually a great rule because this exemplifies how the United States puts you on a road to success. This rule forces students to get some type of education, and education is key in moving forward in life. It isn’t only how great the knowledge we are learning is, but also how great the teachers, and fellow students are. It is incredible how nice teachers are in the United States. Teachers at Palatine High School are always willing to stay after school, come before school, meet during lunch, or do whatever they possibly can do to help you learn the material.
On Tuesday my Psychology teacher came in at 7 AM just to help me and one other student prepare for a test. For only two kids my teacher came in over an hour earlier than she had to. Now that’s amazing. This is not only a few teachers, but all teachers are like this and it amazes me everyday how much our Palatine High School staff actually cares about its students. Comparing this to some other countries where teachers can hit and abuse students, it’s essentially comparing black to white. Next is the type of classroom setting and they way teaching is done, and how this helps students learn.
In all of my classes if a life lesson can be taught a teacher will never think twice before taking time out of the lesson plan to help us, all the students in the long run. An example of this would be in my English class where tangent conversations about the topic at hand turn out to take the whole class period. It is amazing how my teacher facilitates these conversations to not only pertain to the topic we are learning but also life lessons. Every day and every year at school I am exposed to multiple different teaching styles and I have noticed that certain types of classes are taught the best with certain teaching styles.
Personally some classes are naturally harder for me while some are naturally easier. This maybe due to the curriculum we are learning, but this is also due to how the teacher teaches. There are generally four types of teaching styles. There is formal authority, demonstrator, facilitator, and delegator. First is the formal authority teaching style. “This style is generally teacher-centered, where the teacher feels responsible for providing and controlling the flow of the content and the student is expected to receive the content” (“Teaching Styles Categories”).
I believe this type of teaching works best with science and math classes because in science and math classes we learn brand new material which we don’t have much past experience with so it is necessary for the teacher to translate the information or else we would never really get to what is important. For me in physics class the formal authority teaching style works great by having the teacher give us notes to take on what is the important information on each concept which is vital to know. Next is the demonstrator. “The demonstrator teaching style run teacher-centred classes with an emphasis on demonstration and modeling.
This type of teacher acts as a role model by demonstrating skills and processes. Then as a coach/guide in helping students develop and apply these skills and knowledge” (“Teaching Styles Categories”). I believe this type of teaching would work best in a world language. In a world language it is important to know the fundamental origins of what you are learning, and how what you are learning actually works. In a world language by seeing multiple examples of something complicated, you are able to analyze it and understand every part to it, which in the end helps you become at an expert at it.
An example of this would be from Spanish last year where I did not understand how to use the subjunctive form, but with help from my teacher and him showing every part to it I was able learn the concept of the subjunctive form and ace the quiz. After this is the facilitator model teaching style. “Teachers who use the facilitator model tend to focus on activities. This teaching style emphasizes student-centered learning and there is much more responsibility placed on the students to take the initiative for meeting the demands of various learning tasks” (“Teaching Styles Categories”).
I think this works best in an English class. I say this because in English we have learned a lot of what we need to know from past English classes. So to reach the next level in English students need to be able to pick out key concepts by themselves and argue why that concept is important. I have seen a lot of this in my English class, and I have noticed that the class has grown with this skill because our teacher does a great job facilitating class conversations se we get to what we need to know with as little interruption from the discussion. Lastly there is the delegator teaching style.
“Teachers who teach with a delegator teaching style tend to focus on activities. This teaching style emphasizes student-centered learning and there is much more responsibility placed on the students to take the initiative for meeting the demands of various learning tasks” (“Teaching Styles Categories”). I believe this teaching style lends itself to the social studies because you are able to understand a lot of the key terms after seeing them in real life examples.
In my psychology class you can sit through class and still get by, but to fully understand the concepts a student must apply himself during experiments and videos to be able to see the key terms in real life examples. These teaching styles are never limited to just one in a classroom and can be combined to further a student’s education and to help a student learn and retain information better. Even though we have all these nice privileges and opportunities at schools in the United States, I believe this feeds a flaw.
This flaw is the lack of wanting an education in students. I think since many students don’t actually know how lucky they are to have the opportunities they do here in the United States, their respect and importance for education in their lives is decreased. This is due to the fact that the American education system has formed society to believe that education for everyone is the norm, when in reality this is far from the truth. When education should be growing in importance to future generations it is only decreasing in importance.
This is shown by comparing how much money the United States spends on education funding to student performance. The United States is the country that spends the fifth most per a student on average, spending about 12,550. 24 dollars per student (“Class size, teacher’s pay and spending: which countries spend the most and pay the least in education? ”). However, the United States only places 17th in the developed world for education (“Best Education In The World”). Comparing the United States’ policy of education to other countries, maybe there are some changes to be made.
A country the United States could use as a role model would be Finland, the number one ranked country for education (“Best Education In The World”). Finland’s excellence is due to a succession of reforms starting in the 1970s (“What We Can Learn from Finland’s Successful School Reform”). These reforms were based off of five strategies which were getting resources for those who need them most, high standards and supports for special needs, qualified teachers, evaluation of education, and balancing decentralization and centralization (“What We Can Learn from Finland’s Successful School Reform”).
First off by getting resources to the people who need them will allow all the people in the United States to get an education, which will surely increase the Untied States’ average. Many people cannot get a higher education because they cannot afford it, but by giving them the resources to get a higher education the US will be able to higher their educational level. Unlike the United States in Finland Ninety-eight percent of the cost of education at all levels is covered by government rather than by private sources (“What We Can Learn from Finland’s Successful School Reform”).
Next, by increasing the standards and supports for special needs will enable students to increase their knowledge and give them the chance to show it. Another thing the United States needs to do is get more qualified teachers. Even though this is not really a problem in district 211, I believe this a big factor holding back students from their full potential. I believe that this is a crucial step in the nation taking a step forward because unqualified teachers are unable to help a students learn the material needed to bring the Untied States to the next level of educational success.
The next thing is the United States has to do is evaluate education, everything from the purpose to how it is tested. Many small changes such as taking away honors classes and “regular” classes will force students to work harder in a normal class. This also will not discourage any students who were trying to get into an honors class and did not make it. The common curriculum will allow everyone to get a higher learning and not only a few kids who did well on one test to put them in a higher class. This will also help create a friendly yet competitive environment for school.
This success of this reform has already been shown, “At the beginning of the 1970s, Finland launched reforms to equalize educational opportunity by first eliminating the practice of separating students into very different tracks based on their test scores, and then by eliminating the examinations themselves” (“What We Can Learn from Finland’s Successful School Reform”). Another thing that will help take the next step in education is taking away many standardized tests such as the ISAT, PSAT, ACT, and etc.
Instead of trying to focus on bringing students up to a low national level, by decentralizing and giving power to more highly trained local teachers would allow the US to bring the whole national average up. In Finland, “Over the past 40 years, Finland has shifted from a highly centralized system emphasizing external testing to a more localized system in which highly trained teachers design curriculum around the very lean national standards” (“What We Can Learn from Finland’s Successful School Reform”).
This will allow teachers to teach the way they believe the students will learn better and this makes the job easier for both the teacher and the students. All of these tactics have worked for Finland as we see the change from 1970 once it broke free of the Soviet Union to where it has come now. Even though the change in the American education system will not be immediate, I believe it is possible to bring change and to higher the level of education in the United States.
In the end I believe the American Education system is one of the greatest things the nation has to offer its people. Even though it has its flaws the United States’ education system is doing something right because the US is the country with the number one GDP. The American education system is something that is very unique, and something students in the United States should use to their full potential. Works Cited Hammond, Linda D. “What We Can Learn from Finland’s Successful School Reform. ” Nea. org. NEA, Oct.
-Nov. 2010. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. Rogers, Simon. “Class Size, Teacher’s Pay and Spending: Which Countries Spend the Most and Pay the Least in Education? ” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. Stein, Jennifer. “Teaching Styles Categories. ” Teaching Styles Categories. 13 Apr. 2001. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. Zhao, Emmeline. “Best Education In The World: Finland, South Korea Top Country Rankings, U. S. Rated Average. ” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost. com, 27 Nov. 2012. Web. 14 Jan. 2013.