Our nation prides itself on providing a free and appropriate education for every child in the United States. The funny part is, the education is not free... technically our tax dollars are going to provide quality educational programs for our children. But, did you know that the United States was evaluated under the "Global Challenge 2012" on its education systems and ended up with a grade of 76.5? With all the school systems in the United States, Maryland was number 1, but the score was only 87.8... and Massachusetts coming in second with an 84.2 this really is not saying too much about the education system of the United States. Well, let's take an in depth look on what kind of education our tax dollars actually help to fund.
According to the dictionary, education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. Now, in regards to this definition are our schools preparing our children for real LIFE in what we know as a traditional classroom setting? Now, don't get me wrong, I highly agree that the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic are vital parts of education because without them our children cannot convey and communicate their knowledge and ideas. But, society has taken away another vital part of education, and that is the part of experiencing culture and diversity through knowledge of the arts and music, developing social skills through play out at recess and taking out Physical Education (P.E.) therefore, creating obese children. So, is this an appropriate education? Does this type of education benefit all children?
Let's explore the traditional classroom learning experience... it is typically very direct instruction with drills, repetition, and the model of sit still and be quiet. However, not all students learn best in this manner. Every child has a specific learning style and the typical classroom does not necessarily accommodate how each individual child may learn. Not to mention, classrooms today are quite overcrowded and learning can be quite difficult for most students due to the fact that individualized attention is almost obsolete. Therefore, how do we close this learning gap?
I have to say, no matter how much learning is done in the classroom environment, the core of all learning begins at home. Therefore, I have to say communication between parents and teachers is a great necessity. Also, if the children experience issues not being able to adapt to the traditional classroom model, alternative methods should be considered. If a consensus cannot be agreed upon, then possible outside academic support such as a tutor might be necessary.
As you can see our education system has a lot of gaps and much room for improvement, but unless budget cuts cease, more teachers are hired, class sizes reduce, and they bring back music, art, recess, and P.E. our education system along with our youth are going to continue to decline. Please take this issue very seriously and do not let your child be left behind. Please make sure that learning does not stop in the classroom and continues in the home. And, if they are having any sort of problem, do not wait too long to get them the outside support that may be needed.