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Community Member

Education as a whole

Are we progressing in education in the right direction?  I feel like so many teachers have to entertain students in order to get the attention of their pupils.  I have read the statistics and the data that supports our current generation saying that this group of students "learn differently"  So my question to you is do they really learn differently, or as adults have we simply allowed this behavior to exist?  Experts say that this is the first generation where teachers and parents have changed to conform to students rather than the other way around--is this a good or bad thing?  Maybe it's not as black and white as a good or bad thing?  Maybe there has to be some middle of the road--I see more hand-holding, spoon-feeding, and coddling than ever before--

I will never forget the time I was teaching a short mini-lesson using MS Publisher and I got done teaching and asked if anyone had any questions regarding what my expectations were or what the assignment was.  Nobody raised their hand until I got done and then one young girl raised her hand and called me over to her desk.  I ask her what her question was and she said she needed help, so I said sure what do you need?  She replied I need you to show me what to do--so of course I asked her if she had been paying attention during my lesson and she said no, I never listen to your instructions, but rather I wait until you are all done and call you over so you can help me one on one.  Then there was the senior last year that missed 70 out of 180 days of school, but it did not matter --he still walked across the stage during graduation because administration is under so much pressure to meet the graduation rates from state ed. And these are only a couple of stories-- I should write a book because I can't make up this stuff

So I ask you, is education going in the right direction?  Sure would love to hear your thoughts.
Thank you

6 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @tdavey ​, from your post it seems that you are a K12 Instructor. I'm not sure if your question is for education in general or K12 specifically, but if you're interested in the K12 perspective they have a specific group in the Community - K-12​.

Anecdotally, yes, my experience in higher ed is that students don't seem to read directions (or emails) and appear to require more/specific directions. This becomes pretty interesting when they are in my class because I teach a statistics class that is based on critical thinking, not on "getting the right answer." Often students just want to know if their answer is "correct," but there is so much more to our class than that. Almost everything we do is based from a case study and/or real data we collected in class. This means we don't do pages of homework problems. We might have a set of data and then try to figure out everything we can from it... and I make them explain what they find in real world terms! At first they don't seem to like it, but by the end they seem to appreciate that our class isn't a high-stakes test based course and that they can actually think about statistics in real world terms (especially the statistics they read/see in the news or in articles). So in terms of your question about whether education is going in the right direction, I can only speak for myself and that I'm doing my best to keep it going in what I consider to be the right direction!

On the flip side, I also work with faculty (I'm Director of Online Learning, so I work with almost all the faculty at our Institution) and I honestly have to say a good number often don't read directions (or emails) and can be just as needy as students sometimes. I actually had a faculty member in my office who bluntly told me he "doesn't read my email." He'd rather just come down when he needs something and ask... even if my email explained exactly what is going on and included a link to a guide and a video. Smiley Wink

Thanks for opening up this interesting conversation and because it is a discussion and not really a question with a right or wrong answer, I'm going to change it over to a discussion.

Community Member

Thank you very much for such a GREAT replyyou have given me a lot to think aboutyour course sounds exciting to meI appreciate your time and response and yes I currently teach at the middle-school level, high school level and I teach at SUNY Canton as an adjunctall of your scenarios sound familiar so it is interesting to say the least--food for though, that is for sure

thank you for your time


Community Member

A well-known quote says: “Change, constant change, is the law of organic life’’. Our world is in permanent motion, so it now appears that customary ways of teaching have become a thing of the past. There is no harm in bringing about changes in the teaching and learning process, since our students represent new generation and they grow up in the digital world. Undoubtedly, it is not easy to engage students in diligent work, but with the help of technology this challenge can be accepted. It is a question of reasonable approach and sincere wish. Get rid of you doubts! Education is going in the right direction. Worries are inherent to every new path we are about to take.

Community Member

times change so do people, their tendency and or personalities. So the approach we have bin using in schools has left the USA one of the lowest in education. We as living beings adapt to environmental changes , fiscal changes, ect. So why has the way the schools operate or teach the youth not changed in a very long time. My personal opinion, a lot should change in our education system.

Adventurer II

I don't think I am entertaining my students. Rather, I  model the awesome communication habits I wish students to practice. As an English professor, it would be hypocritical and lazy of me to toss together a lesson or instructions in five minutes. Instead, I draft, and revise and edit every written document I share with my students in an attempt to be educational and engaging.

Back in the 1950s, Paul McHenry Roberts wrote, " Can you be expected to make a dull subject interesting? As a matter of fact, this is precisely what you are expected to do. This is the writer's essential task. All subjects, except sex, are dull until somebody makes them interesting. The writer's job is to find the argument, the approach, the angle, the wording that will take the reader with him. This is seldom easy, and it is particularly hard in subjects that have been much discussed."

I tell my students that there are universal truths, and one of them is "Nobody likes to be bored." When I write for them, I do my best, and I expect reciprocation.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Late reply here.  I am very new to the realm of K-12 administration, and I have only a very limited vantage point.  I have a daughter in second grade and I sit on her school advisory council.  So I don't see most things involved with the school and administration, but I can see some.  Being both an administrator and professor in higher ed, I am definitely observing a disconnect between how K-12 is preparing students for higher ed (and the workplace), and what is expected of students in higher ed.

Much of this comes down to funding (and politics).  My daughter's school is rated both 5 stars and "A" in the state of Florida, and they are doing everything right in order to secure funding.  But many of the standardized tests and common core initiatives will not give my daughter any particular edge when so goes to college.  I am not opposed to such assessments and strategies, but they should be a cog in the mechanism and not just the entire wheel (if that makes sense).  Yes there are tests to take at most levels of education, but education should not just be about the testing.  I challenge my students by engaging them in critical thinking exercises and competency-based assignments.  For my doctoral students, outside of comps I don't believe they even take tests.  Or if they do then they are the exception and not the standard.  [and in my own role, the only "tests" I take are the mandatory FERPA, compliance, HR, etc. certifications].