For decades we’ve been specializing subject matter. Math class for mathematics, English class for reading and writing, Science class for Earth sciences, biology, chemistry, and physics…
Then we started specializing our students. We must understand the culture, the mental abilities, the disabilities, the medical conditions.
Then we further specialized the students and the subject matter by learning styles.
Teachers had to present material in a way that could be understood by each different specialty, and make it individualized and custom-fit for each student. At this point, to be fair, it is unreasonable to understand all the nuances, backgrounds, experiences, limiting beliefs, politics, home-life, nutrition, and perception of education as a whole for each student unless the class sizes are small– 10-14 to one teacher.
Check out this 4th grade class:
30 kids in the classroom.
How in the heck would a teacher be able to customize his/her lessons for every single student? Madness!
It didn’t take long for the pundits in education to declare that this was an over-crowded classroom. Then it didn’t take long before the talking heads of government decided that teachers had to meet certain standards in education to compete with other countries. And at the same time, shoulder the burden of teaching manners, sex education, consumer math, ESL, and social studies, and become literally “in loco parentis”. Teachers were required to teach things that used to be taught at home. Politics interfered with education, public relations changed perception, and suddenly, teachers couldn’t be trusted to produce outstanding students. No Child Left Behind was convoluted and it became obvious that if you wanted your school to receive funding, ALL your students had to be above average. And if they weren’t, you needed special programs to account for your failures as a school system to bring the level of “mastery” (that was the trend word back then) to every student. In my state, no child ever flunks a grade if the school wants to get their government funding.
Then to add insult to injury, after intense 4-5 years in getting a degree in education, plus student teaching, they decided the state needed to give them a certification test. Some prospective teachers have to take it 5 times to pass it. There are algebraic questions to make sure the children’s teacher can teach 5-year-olds counting, adding, and subtracting. Is this test written by certified kindergarten teachers? Do they differentiate the test based on what the teacher’s area of expertise is? NO? Then why do they require teachers to do precisely that in their classrooms?
And throughout all this, they train the teachers that every child starts out at 0, and has no creativity, no resourcefulness, and no experience. The children are not responsible for learning, but the teachers are responsible for the level of mastery the children attain. In addition, the level of mastery is tested by the state. If the children don’t measure up, the school and the teacher get black marks.
I see you nodding out there thinking, “As it SHOULD be!”
Well, it shouldn’t. Teachers are not telepathic, and they don’t wear capes. They don’t get 4 more degrees in psychology and sociology so they can teach poetry. School systems are not going to make sure each child passes by assigning 1×1 teachers. They will teach to the test.
And the whole purpose of education will be flushed down the toilet.
What IS the whole purpose of education? It’s to prepare children to be adults, functioning and responsible members of society that are self-sustaining.
If people want to have educated, open-minded, and intelligent members of society, they must teach the children responsibility and work-ethic. But this should be taught at home.
And what if the teacher doesn’t measure up to the highest standards expected by society and the government? They will quit. And fewer and fewer people will become teachers. The class sizes will grow and the teacher supply will drop.
The solution? Teach your children how to become their own best teachers. Give them a repeatable, reliable process that will enable them to learn regardless of the skill of the teacher, the size of the classroom, the quality of the materials, and in turn, this will result in an educated generation of new adults with a love of learning and curiosity that will propel them into a bright future.
You can learn this process… it’s only 6 steps.