As I continue to research education by working with in the system as both an Instructor and Student I see no value to the undue Stress (pressure) that removes the will to learn and labels at an early age that lasts through their educational journey (struggle).
Perhaps it is undue Duress (constraints) that restrains many of our children from learning as they go through our educational system?
It’s everywhere, nothing but stress and more stress at school. I’m talking K grade to Grade 16. Grades Pre-K to 1st grade have stress from parents who want them to perform times tables and know every State Capital. Grades 3 & 4 get pounded by Teachers getting them ready for State Testing.
State testing has children wondering if the school will close or their teacher will get fired. I wonder who tells them that! I hear 5th and 6th graders say" I wish I could eat the free breakfast they are giving us but my stomach is so upset I can't eat anything, maybe I can eat the snacks they give us during testing.
My Teacher said we will stay (Duress) in 4th grade if we don't do well on the test and he may lose his job. What kind of Educational System have we created that forces Teachers to use threats as opposed to understanding. Also read http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2007/01/quality-education-why-do-teachers-do.html
What about all the school closing because parents are losing their jobs or mismanaged funds by school administrators. Many of our children are like "Army Brats" who have to change schools each year because the school in their neighborhood is shutting down and they now have to get up an hour earlier to take a bus across town. Does anyone care how long it takes for a student to get comfortable in a new school with new students, new teachers and new rules? Oh yeah, I forgot Mergers and Acquisitions" are good for competition (another story, another time).
What about Higher Education?
After class last week a number of my classmates stopped me and asked why I seem so calm. A number of presentations and project reports are due next week. My only response is “ I don’t believe in grades.” If I’m learning I’m happy. I am learning in this class from the instructor and from my classmates. I asked would they rather receive a “C” and learn valuable information or would they rather receive and “A” do little work and learn nothing (in college students search and wait for instructors who provide no knowledge and easy grades, even if it means they don't graduate that semester). They all chose the “A.” Responses included “My scholarship will be revoked if I don’t keep a “B” average” or “My parents will cut off my money supply.”
SAVE THE LAST CLASS FOR ME
Perhaps it’s the tears, or maybe it’s the body language that has left a person beat-up after a ten round fight. For the life of me I can’t believe the roadblocks, miscommunications, lack of standardization that is rampant in our educational system. In most cases the students have no recourse, end of class surveys and taking your complaint up the ladder meets resistance at every turn. Some Class sizes are so big that students who are not assertive get lost in the crowd of overachievers and pontificators.
Everyone talks the “WHAT,” but no one really gives the “HOW” until they recognize what it is there given is not correct. Believe it or not it is not just the students. Most instructors are bound by out-dated university rules that force them to utilize grading instruments that are as old as the Dean of Education who established them in 1963.
Grades do nothing but force every student in a class into the same square and hope they all fit through. Those that don’t are cast off and made to feel less than adequate and are labeled year to year. Grades impact so many students that are talented, bright and above all passionate that many change majors or just give up their dream of getting the job they have always wanted.
My Nephew was complaining about his Math course not to long ago becasue he could not understand the instructor. You see he had a foreign instructor that made it very difficult to understand what was being written and stated in class. Efforts to get help from teaching assistants were useless because of the long lines and 2-3 hour wait usually on a weekend.
Please don’t misinterpret what I am writing, yes I know there are many cases where a student fails to learn the subject matter, but there is no way that they equal the amount of students depressed, exhausted and frightened about what will happen if they don’t get the grade that will grant them a degree or further their education by going to grad school.