Friday, September 12, 2008

Matt, Sam, Tim, and John's Group

In the US, our current school system is predominately structured around a "one size fits all" curriculum. Recently, this system has been criticized for being inflexible. Some school districts are implementing a more dynamic system which caters to the individual student's interests and needs. Discuss how you think such a system should be put in place, if at all, and theorize on some possible outcomes.


jon s said...

The established school system seems to be designed to level the playing field to some extent when it comes to education, especially looking at just one school district. This, i think, has proved to not be the most effective method for teaching as it forces everyone to work at the same pace. This causes the brighter students to get bored and the less advanced students to get left behind.

A (possibly) better approach would involve a more varied curriculum and schedules. If we organized the school system to be more versatile in its approaches, then we might be able to really advance students at their own pace. A system similar to how many colleges are set up would be an option. Where students would have longer classes fewer times and with supplementary teaching available between classes. That way students could work through problems that they have and if they still cannot understand something, get help outside of class time. This will minimize classes slowing down to accommodate for questions that could be answered elsewhere.

Another way to organize classes would be on a once-weekly class schedule. Having each subject once a week for longer times would lessen the wasted time between classes, and would allow students to work through problems over an extended period of time during which they can seek help if need be.

nikki said...

It seems like that as a class we've decided that a dynamic teaching system is the most beneficial to students and in an ideal world I think it would give students the best education possible. However, I believe that implementing such a system would prove futile and could even widen the divide between those who have and those who have not. As some of the readings have said, many inner-city schools are either understaffed or employ teachers that are inexperienced. Because of this, the teachers of inner-city schools wouldn't be able to devote the time and attention needed to make a dynamic system a succeed. They would have to resort to teaching on a large scale rather than on an individual basis and the students' ability to perform at their best would wither. Meanwhile, students who attend well-funded schools would receive a tailored education taught by experienced teachers.
I understand that our educational system isn't perfect, but I don't think that it is completely broken. I think that we have to understand that a good solution has to be more than just a pretty idea. There are always two sides to each issue and fixing our education system is going to take much more than a couple of reforms.

roryrowley said...

I believe the dynamic curriculum would work very well to implement varieties of classes with different difficulty levels based on the ability of students.

A way of doing so that i believe would work with careful would be to have different levels of classes set up. (Regular, pre-ap, AP, College Level) You could place and arrange students based of their performance in each class, if a student preforms really well and obtains an a in the class, they move up into a more challenging class, in which will hopefully push them harder to again do well. This could work for sequence classes like math, english, and science. Moving the students up based on ability rather than force or choice based on the student or staff appears as though it would be much more benificial to students, as well as the moral of the students.

Thus preventing a student of great intelligence or caliber from obtaining a meadiocre education by not challenging themselves in AP or more difficult classes, and just skating by. As well as helping a student who has somehow fallen behind catch up without missing all the necessary tools to do so.