November 11, 2010
I personally feel like changing things in the schools themselves will not solve much. The problem is degradation of society. Kids in school can't concentrate on learning if their parents are going through a divorce, the child only has one parent that spends most time providing and no time with the child, and/or there is hostility in the marital relationship. Also, how can kids be expected to be interested in learning when their parents never encouraged it in the first place? I feel really bad for the teachers because they are faced with students who have no respect, no decency, no dignity, or honor. If these are the kinds of kids our media and parents are raising, there is little teachers can do - especially when they are faced with 20-30 of these children and adolescents at once.
Moreover, there are so many distractions in the form of television, computers, cell phones - all of these are counterproductive to learning to think
. Only students who learn to think are able to learn, the rest are just cramming their heads with facts they will never use in real life.
If there is anything that can be done on the part of schools, I think the focus needs to shift from loading children with facts to actually teaching them to think, reason, and giving them tools to learn what they are inherently interested in. Pupils were never expected to know as much as they are today. Despite the fact that more and more is taught and more subjects are added to the curriculum, children are not getting smarter, they are actually more and more dumb. I believe that's because the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic have been abandoned. A child who needs a calculator to do basic math will never learn to think on his or her own.
I could go on, but for lack of time you could also read my review of The Underground History of American Education
for more information.