Education cuts a good thing!
By Justin C Kurtz
Tags: 2012 budget, 2012 education budget, education, education cuts, education planning, educational budget cuts, Egypt, higher education, school, school cuts, Solidarity, Solutions, Texas education cuts, Tunisia, unemployment
Category: 2012, 2012 Budget, Achievement, budget, Budget crisis, Budget cuts, busines development, Education, Education cuts, Educational costs, Educational Cuts, entrepreneurship, free, future of education, homeshool, Knowledge, Learn, Obama, Seeking help, self help, SOLUTIONS, Solutions, Student, Student failure rates, Student Protests, student tuition hikes, Sustainable Education, sustanability, sustanable, Tax Cuts, Unemployed
With the numerous planned cuts to education around the world people are desperately searching for solutions to the educational crisis. Can open source educational platforms fix the challenges of providing quality education in todays world?
Within the 2012 budgets of many federal and state programs exist necessary cuts to many programs. The challenge exists to continue providing quality services to the masses in a format that can achieve greater results than our current model can provide.
Challenges with our current model include;
1 To few teachers per student.
2 Lack of relativity to the material
3 Single model of educational delivery
To few teachers per student is a common complaint of educators and parents. Without personal time with the teacher many students that need extra help can monopolize a teachers time. This situation can also create a disservice to those who only need occasional help because they too are unable to access assistance when they need it. However low pay, poor hours, high expectations and now educational budget cuts make the potential of higher student teacher ratios unlikely.
Lack of relativity to the material.
Many young people, and adults reflecting on their education show that many teachers are unable to bridge the generational gaps effectively to provide students with an understanding of how the material being covered is relative to their individual goals and dreams. From my own experience I can remember asking my calculus professor how to apply what we were learning so that I could comprehend the material easier. I was told “if you aren’t going to be a rocket scientist you’ll never use it.” Huh? Does anyone else think this attitude is anti-learning? So why should someone study something that even the teacher cannot make relative to my own personal goals. A 17 year old recently told me she could “find the answers on google” to any problem she faces so why should she study the material? Even her teachers could not argue with her logic.
Single model of educational delivery.
A retired teacher recently advised me that every school was the same. How to teach, the expectation of teaching etc. were always the same. Our current model says each student should learn by sitting in a classroom throughout the day listening to lectures. Anyone who has ever attended a long uneventful meeting at work can attest that sitting still listening to someone else talk about material that is not relevant is not an effective method of learning. Even doctors now ask new patients how they prefer to receive material; by reading, hearing, or visual presentation. Another absurd assumption is that each student is able of turning their mind toward the subject currently being taught, which changes every 30-45 minutes throughout the school day. See http://www.waronkids.org for more information about this subject.
Solutions to our current educational crisis discussed throughout this blog are capable of being implemented at a relatively low cost by changing the method in which we expect education to be delivered. If Isaac Newton was sitting in class hearing lectures rather than sitting under a tree observing nature in action would he have been able to make the leap required to explain gravity?
Throughout our history the greatest minds have all been free to pursue their educational pursuits in methods that worked for them as an individual. Perhaps what is needed is a shift in thinking about what education really is. No-one I talk to agrees that theory alone is enough to truly educate a person. They must experience, experiment, and apply their knowledge in a manner that works with their personal goals.
Could technology and open source material, such as the training I go through for free provided by wordpress in how to make this a better blog provide a more useful method of educational delivery?
In my own life my family is privately educating our 2 year old son via private tutors and active engagement within the home. Simply by applying a belief that he can learn anything before his 2nd birthday he can count to ten on his own and recite his alphabet as well as recall numerous people and places that we have been. Carry on a conversation. And knows how to say please and thank you. In fact as I type this he is bringing me a diaper and asking for a change.
Homeschooling nationwide is seeing an increase with much better results than are being seen in public education. Why is this? Within the apartment complex we live in I can tell the difference between home-schooled an public school children just in their interaction with others. The level of politeness and quality of conversation are much higher in children home-schooled compared to those attending public school. However most people I know don’t feel qualified to be an educator. Again because of our single method of educational delivery if you have not been “formerly educated” then you are unqualified to teach. Anyone can teach something. Everyone has a skill or some type of knowledge that someone else could use for self improvement.
While recently reading The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori she discusses the necessity of the individual to learn independently and that educators should be observers. It is necessary for the student to have liberty. Freedom to pursue their educational goals with minimum teaching.
In an age of shrinking liberties in formerly free republics and increasing opportunities for liberty in tyrannical countries such as Egypt and Tunisia a liberated view of education could be just the solution we need. Supported by the highly popular Montessori Method when children and adults are at liberty to pursue self betterment, or chase their passions the individual will acquire the knowledge and gain the insights necessary to accomplish their goals.
Goal setting and goal attainment is a highly integral part of ensuring our children achieve real education, or rather real knowledge. Adults and business people everywhere are constantly upgrading their knowledge base as technology continues to change. From an evolutionary standpoint it is critical to learn to adapt to ones surroundings. Considering the number of people utilizing new tools like twitter, Facebook and other social media programs couldn’t similar efforts be undertaken to train people for new careers and educate our youth to prepare them for creating the career options of the future? With resources like wikiuniversity and other open source methods of education such as http://www.wiziq.com/UniversityofFreedom couldn’t we solve these issues? Personally it all boils down to individuals. Parents cry for better schools then cry when told they will have to pay more for them. Educators cry for better tools then cry when they are cut for lack of performance. Everyone cries at the thought of changing how we do things. Though Obama was highly supported because of his promise of change, he and a lot of other individuals have no desire to change anything that effects them personally. Until we are all able to look at our need for real change and learn how to apply our vast amount of new technology to aid in those changes we will be sunk. Just as in our History during each technological revolution people have to learn how to adapt to the changes they are presented with. However our culture now allows for such rapid changes that it is difficult for the average person to take all the changes in and effectively apply them to solve the challenges that we have always faced.
Cut the programs cut them deep because a $14trillion deficit isn’t going to help our children learn anything but dependence upon others for solutions. The more people begin to take educating their children into their own hands and hold themselves responsible for ensuring their children understand why and how to apply learning to their individual goals, the greater results we will get. Solutions exist and it is definitely time for a change.
To learn more about how to implement self-directed education in your life, and your childs contact the author via http://www.supertrampconsulting.com the first choice in Educational Consultants.
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