How do trends within traditional school systems in America clash with students diverse learning needs?
Conflict is composed of opposing forces.
This conflict is composed of two opposing , traditional school systems and children’s diverse learning needs. These forces cause conflict because people have been debating on whether traditional school systems are preparing us for the future or if they really aren’t.
For example, there are multiple perspectives on this topic like the people who believe the traditional school system isn’t failing and then there are people who believe they are.
“America’s public schools are NOT failing. They are among the best in the world. Really!” as stated in “U.S. Public Schools Are Not Failing. They’re Among The Best In The World” by Steven Singer.
On the other hand, then there is also “Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?” by Peter Gray that stated “ Children are required to be in school, where their freedom is greatly restricted, far more than most adults would tolerate in their workplaces. In recent decades, we’ve been compelling them to spend even more time in this kind of setting, and there’s strong evidence that this is causing psychological damage to many of them.”
Conflict may be natural or man-made.
The conflict of traditional school systems clashing with students diverse learning needs is man-made. Man-made means that the conflict was created by people and was not a natural occurrence. The reason why it is man-made is because the educational system was created by humans in the Enlightenment period. A article titled “The Invented History of The Factory Model of Education” explains that, “Our K–12 system largely still adheres to the century-old, industrial-age factory model of education. A century ago, maybe it made sense...” The traditional school systems date back to a completely different day in age yet we continue to use it in America. Before schools systems were created by men children learned through self directed play and exploration. Phychology.com discuss the man-made origins of the traditional school system in “A Brief History of Education.” They explain how the rise of schooling made people think of it as children’s work to go to school. As well as,”The brute force methods long used to keep children on task on the farm or in the factory were transported into schools to make children learn.” The creation of the traditional school system was completely responsible my man and is therefore, man-made.
Conflict may be intentional or unintentional.
The conflict of tradition school systems in America vs children’s diverse learning needs is intentional, which means that it happens on purpose or for a reason. Men originally created the school system with the intentions to educate and prepare children factory jobs. During this time schools needed to transform an agricultural society into an industrialized society. An article titled, “One Man Created the Educational System Holding You Back” provides details, “We can see them manifested in the education system that continues to operate across America to this day: schools focus on respecting authority, punctuality, measurement, basic literacy, basic arithmetic.” The people behind the creation of traditional schools intentionally or unintentionally forgot to allow the system to accommodate to the different learning needs of its unique students. However, we have discovered this conflict over time and have not done much to change it. In, “Meeting Student Needs in the Classroom” by study.com it follows a teacher making change in her classroom to help the needs of her students. “By designing curriculum and instruction based on students' needs - not on what worked in previous years - she allows for individual growth. Sue also designs learning based on student profiles and builds experiences using background knowledge.” Her intentions are to create an environment that supports the learning needs of all her students. If more traditional school systems set these intentions they would help avoid this conflict.
Conflict may allow for synthesis and change.
The conflict of traditional school systems in America vs children’s diverse learning needs may allow for synthesis and change. Change can happen within the conflict traditional school systems in America vs children’s diverse learning needs of because by changing the school system and updating it, it will help kids be more prepared for 21 century jobs, it will maybe help kids with different learning needs and it will definitely help and impact our future greatly. This relates to our student led research because in our survey we asked the question, “ How can we improve the school system to help students learn better and be more prepared?” and one teacher answered, “Our decision makers need to embrace the fact that our current system of education needs to be overhauled to provide for a 21st century education. Many of the skills that students need are in the area of problem solving whether in the area of science, history, or math. In order to do so changes have to be made in our curriculum. On the other hand it is necessary to hold students and parents accountable for achievement. Simply attending school is not a guarantee of success.” Updating and redesigning the educational system will help kids be more prepared for 21 century jobs, help students who struggle learning with their different learning needs in our current system and overall have a positive impact on their futures.
Conflict is progressive.
The first American school in the 17th century. Boston Latin School was founded in 1635 and is both the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States. As stated in “ Who Invented School And Created Standardized Education?”, it said, “While there is no one to credit for inventing school, there is someone who is considered to be the father of modern education. Horace Mann , who was the Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of education. Mann truly believed that universal public education was extremely important to help mold American citizens. Under his tenure, he created a number of public schools in Massachusetts and reformed public schools so much that other states adopted Mann’s ideas.” In other words, modernized school was made to shape and help mold American citizens. The conflict of traditional school systems in America is progressive, happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step, because as stated in “Progressive Education: How Children Learn” by Robert Kennedy, “Progressive education is a reaction against the traditional style of teaching. It's a pedagogical movement which values experience over learning facts at the expense of understanding what is being taught. When you examine the teaching styles and curriculum of the 19th century, you understand why certain enlightened educators decided that there had to be a better way.” In other words this conflict is starting to progress because America is starting to update and change the ancient school system with a more futuristic school system. As stated in “Progress in Our Schools” by Home U.S. Department of Education it said “Today, the United States has one of the highest high school dropout rates in the world. Among students who do complete high school and go on to college, nearly half require remedial courses, and nearly half never graduate. Yet in today's world, a college degree or advanced certificate increasingly represents the entry ticket to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives. In today's world, our graduates will compete against the smartest young people from across the globe. But in today's world, the United States ranks 12th in college attainment. As President Obama has said, "It is our generation's task ... to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth—a rising, thriving middle class." Reigniting that engine depends on education, preschool through 12th grade and beyond, strong enough to prepare all students for college, careers, and the innovation-based economy in which they will make their living. To meet that challenge, the Obama Administration set out in 2009—amid the greatest financial crisis in generations—to put in place a set of reforms to ensure that every child in this country receives the education he or she deserves. President Obama set two ambitious goals: that the United States would once again lead the world in college completion, and that every student would receive at least one year of college or specialized training after high school.” With this in mind, Obama was trying to help and change the school system so the rate of kids dropping out of school would decrease but the rate of kids going to college and getting a degree to go up.
Traditional education is defined as teacher-centered delivery of instruction to classes of students who are the receivers of information. Traditional schools generally stress basic educational practices and expect mastery of academic learning in the core subjects of math, reading, writing, science and social studies as expressed by http://education.seattlepi.com.
Non-Traditional school systems is, learning outside traditional methods such as a college, university or trade school.Learn.org provided examples of non-traditional education which includes night classes, online classes, personal enrichment and lifelong learning, independent study and more.
The diverse learning need of students can also be described as the different learning styles that vary from student to student. An article by Terry Farwell on familyeducation.com defines some of the learning styles as, “Auditory learners tend to benefit most from traditional teaching techniques. Some students rely upon a visual learning style: "Show me and I'll understand. Visual learners benefit from diagrams, charts, pictures, films, and written directions.Most of the school population excels through kinesthetic means: touching, feeling, experiencing the material at hand.”
There are trends within the traditional school systems in America that cause these schools to conflict with the diverse learning needs of students. The most significant trends in our school system that are clashing with student learning needs concern class curriculum, class size,class schedule and arrangement. America can not create and set a curriculum that works for students diverse learning styles. As stated in “Why Curriculum Change Is Difficult and Necessary” by www.nais.org, “Curriculum articulation never stops, as needs, standards, students, teachers, and priorities change.” A common trend that occurs within the curriculum is pointed out in, “How Outdated Curricula Are Failing America’s Students” by alternet.org, “Superficial fads-old ideas resurrected with new names—come and go with depressing regularity.” A trend present in the majority of classrooms is the way of instruction. ”The stand-and-deliver model of teaching and learning, with the teacher at the center of instruction, is increasingly incompatible with today's youth(nais.org).They later elaborated explaining that, “the traditional model of teachers dispensing discrete, disconnected bodies of information (curricula) presented in isolation from the other subject areas, is increasingly obsolete as a way to prepare children for our world.” These ideas are examples of trends that are constantly recurring in traditional school systems and leaving a negative impact on our students.
Updating or changing the school system can impact our society in a significant way. Education itself impacts us greatly. As “How Education Has Impacted My Life” said “Education is the very foundation in which we as individuals grow, and formulate the knowledge we gain through life into meaningful ways of adapting to the world. Education is very important in the sense that in today’s society, there is not much success without education. Education allows us to grow and learn intellectually. It gives us the ability to enhance our perception of the world as we see it..” In other words education is the foundation of success and without an education you aren’t going to live a successful life. But the traditional school doesn’t help kids, for example as Albert Einstein once said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” That’s how some kids feel when their teacher assigns them something they aren’t able to do. Also, as stated in “AMERICAN SCHOOLS ARE TRAINING KIDS FOR A WORLD THAT DOESN'T EXIST” by David Edwards, it states, “Our math skills are falling. Our reading skills are weakening. Our children have become less literate than children in many developed countries. But the crisis in American education may be more than a matter of sliding rankings on world educational performance scales.” This means we need to change our school system here in America and this would really impact not only students now but future students.
Throughout the research of this topic there has been a important message and overarching idea that can essentially resolve the conflict. Our research has revealed how crucial it is that the traditional school system is redesigned to better accommodate students needs and prepare them for their futures in the 21st century. “The Times Have Changed -Our Schools Haven’t”sheds light on our traditional schools by stating, “It still runs on an industrial factory model, moving students along in same-age groups in fixed blocks of time. Most students are expected to learn the material in the same way at the same pace. By and large, our schools still function implicitly as a sorting system.”(oregonlearns.org) Continuing to use an outdated system that treats students as if they all learn the same is not helping their preparation and education. “Education in the 21st” by thinkstratigecforschools.com proposes, “A 21st century education is about giving students the skills they need to succeed in this new world, and helping them grow the confidence to practice those skills... identified four ‘Skills for Today’:Creativity,
Critical thinking, Communication, and Collaboration. These four themes are not to be understood as units or even subjects, but as themes that should be overlaid across all curriculum mapping and strategic planning.” These four themes should be apart of lessons because they hold a value just as literacy and numeracy. The combination of new innovative ideas aimed to support and prepare all students will create a successful school system
The topic traditional school systems in America vs children’s diverse learning needs relate to the world because without education the world would be filled with uneducated people and without educated people the world won’t be able to function. For example, as stated in “Impact of Education on Society” by Jyothsna Bhumireddy it said, “Wherever education flourishes, we can expect great refinement in the civilization, attitudes, social development and responsive administration. In modern times, we see far reaching impact of education in all spheres of life and in all corners of the globe. There are revolutionary changes in the understanding of nature and the truths of the universe. Educations have uprooted many such superstitions and social maladies. The lives of many people have drastically changed for better due to the education.” In other words education has help shape the world we live in today, without education we would have never found a cure for cowpox, we would have never found out that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe and that it wasn’t flat and many more other things. This topic can also connect to the United States of America because America really needs to update and change it. As stated in “The Other Economic Crisis: The Failure of Education and Its Consequences” it states, “The failure to invest in education, particularly at the primary and secondary levels, and to offer equal access to education, threatens the long-term competitiveness of the American economy. Although America’s world class universities and elite private high schools ensure that the wealthiest children receive outstanding educations, far too many working and middle class children are not getting the educations they need and deserve. By not making it to college, these kids who should become primary-care doctors, nurses, and teachers, all professions which are sorely hurting for workers, will end up in jail, fighting America’s wars, and working endlessly in low-paying jobs with no hope of ever becoming middle class. This state of affairs is bad for the individual, the community, the state, the economy, and society at large. The kinds of jobs that will buttress the American economy are those which depend on a highly educated workforce across all lines of race, class, and gender. Sadly, this is something that America is failing to accomplish to provide.” With this in mind, America is not investing enough money and time to low-income cities so the kids in those city get a good education and be able to go to college and be able to become what they want to be and it will also impact our economy. Another thing, is that kids whose parents make good money are able to get the education they are suppose to get but unlike kids whose parents barley make money to put food on the table and a roof over their head, they aren’t getting the education they deserve all because they live in a low-income neighborhood. So, America really needs to step up and change and update the school system and help schools across the country. The topic of traditional school systems in America vs children’s diverse learning needs is able to relate to my personal life because if America doesn’t change or update the school system it will not only affect my future but it will also affect my future children’s future.
The expert we interviewed, Mrs. Cuadros, who has been a teacher for eleven years. She has taught at both traditional and non-traditional schools before. In fact, she opened up a non-traditional school in Los Angeles that allows students to choose their path. As well as having opened up a school, she often goes into classrooms to observe teachers and how well they are educating. She used her experience and wise words to give us answers to our questions. Here are some of the questions and answers:
Q: How well do you think traditional school systems accommodate students learning needs?
A:”Some students need to learn kinesthetic, the hands on. So kinesthetics is movement of your hands, motion and showing you what I’m learning. Some kids are audio learners, they need to hear you say it, so if you say it one time that may work for them but for the ones that are not audio learners are like huh? So needs are based of the class, therefore if the population of my class is really excited, young, sixth graders who want to get up and move; maybe I don’t teach them to memorize things and sit quiet all day. I think it goes back to teaching teachers how to teach, how do we teach them to teach our kids in our 21st century?... I go to all the middle schools and I watch teachers and I see, observe from outside looking in and I think it could be better. In my opinion I think it is a three ( on a scale of one to five, one being traditional schools don’t accommodate students diverse learning needs and one being they do).
Q:Do you feel that the traditional school system gives you freedom to teach the way you think your students will learn best?
A:So we are really restricted here in my opinion teachers have the freedom to choose their lessons and curriculum, but we're still pushing test and having them reach certain goals. And if they don't we're saying, oh your bad teacher because you didn't reach your goal. So I think we need to pull back on the testing and do more project based learning, allow students to show you what their learning versus bubbling in the right answer. I know in college there's not going to be that many opportunities for the exams, it’s going to be more practical; Can you apply what you are learning to?
Knowing that our school system was created in the Enlightenment period over a century ago, do you believe it still works for our day and age?
No...I think that is why I opened up a middle school in east Los Angeles with the idea that our students were going to have more choice and freedom, parents were going to have more say on what their kids can say and do. The beauty of it is, I was there for the first five years and got to see it blossom into something incredible. After the school did a really great job they moved and did other schools. I came back to public school thinking I could bring what I did there, here, but we are not quite ready. I feel very concerned that the amount of charter schools coming in are going to overshadow the things happening in public schools.Because charter schools focus a lot on small classrooms, so it's easier to do things when you only have twenty kids in a class versus forty; its apples to oranges… I worry sometimes that our public schools are not getting the attention they need because we have some really great teachers. We are focusing to much on, lets fix the problem by going somewhere else instead of fixing it right here.Let's build it up here, give more money to public schools, give teachers more freedom in what they teach, do classroom outside, have free-day; imagine you could go into any of your classrooms. We need to go back to the things that make kids want to learn, make them really want to learn. If we give our students expectations but also freedom, we are trusting them. When we are on them to much then our kids push back...If we make it so that the students are able to take what they are learning outside of the classroom, build on it, they are going to learn more.
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