A Less-Structured Approach to Education


Students learn at different levels. It doesn’t matter if you are a child or an adult. Some students in one school year may gain two grades of Math skills while they may need two years to earn one year of English skills.

I think it makes more sense to allow students to learn at their own pace. Certainly, they need to meet specific requirements to graduate but does it really matter if a student earns a high school degree in 12 years or 13 years, or for that matter in 10 or 11 years? In fact, I think when a student is “held back” it probably does more harm than good.

Government gives us much rhetoric. Standardized tests will fix everything! These tests are analogous to telling the football coach and team that you need to win eight of your ten games. It doesn’t matter if your players have the skills to compete in their league, or if they have a practice field, coaching staff or football equipment. The measurement of success is to win at least eight of ten games.

Everybody, teachers, parents, and students want to succeed. Let’s build systems that lead to success.

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About acohen843

I am a writer and ESL teacher who enjoys the challenge of starting businesses. Currently, I am a JuicePlus distributor (www.acohentakesjuiceplus.com) who is using this business opportunity as the foundation of a social entrepreneurship project.
This entry was posted in education, learning, public schools, teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Less-Structured Approach to Education

  1. TeacherJay says:

    You make some good points. One of my favorite NCLB-related terms is “adequate yearly progress”. This is used to define the gains that a particular school has made during a year, but couldn’t also apply to individual students… some students may be making large gains, but still below grade level and instead of being congratulated for their efforts they are essentially told that their best still isn’t good enough. I have students move 1.5 grade levels in reading in a 10 month period, but they were still 0.5 below where they should be and their motivation waned… although that student actually made more progress than any of his classmates. If we measured individual students AS individuals on their INDIVIDUAL progress then maybe we would see that most schools really are succeeding.

  2. acohen843 says:

    TeacherJay,

    Thank you. You are right on the mark. It is the individual gains that students make that count.

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