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Where Did Our Educational System Go Wrong?
Mathematics is a subject that is bound to evolve over time; however, something somehow went wrong, somewhere along the line, resulting in the high percentile of innumeracy among our youth today! The mid-seventies were the years when new mathematical methodologies were introduced. Psychologists and pedagogues began to research how they could improve the educational process by implementing unproven theories. In other words, experiment with our children.
Many developing countries, which normally follow the Western trend, could not keep up with the changes that involved constant adaptation of new teaching methodologies. Reprinting new textbooks and retraining teachers to implement these revolutionary new techniques were not within their budget. As a result, they had no choice but to stick with what worked for them and stay the course. Why try to fix what ain’t broke?
Today, not only are we lagging behind in properly educating our children, but we are also producing math teachers who don’t even specialize in the subject. William Schmidt, a distinguished professor of education at the university, has found that prospective elementary and middle school math teachers in the United States are not prepared like those in other countries. “And that, combined with a poor American math curriculum, is producing similar results among students,” he said.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said American children lag behind in these areas and may not be able to compete globally. “It has huge implications,” Duncan said, “I think as a real economic imperative we need to educate our way to a better economy.” He added: “The solution is to adopt international benchmarks and standards to create data systems to measure student achievement and inform teachers on how to improve practice and turn around underperforming schools. “. SourceCNN.
No need to cry over spilled milk! What is done is done! You have to pick up the pieces and start over. And despite the fact that it may take at least two generations to undo the harm done, we still have to retread the road traveled.
Where to start? Maybe the laws need to be changed to begin with. Not all teachers who reprimand, punish a child for misbehavior or otherwise are psychopaths. Not all teachers who hold a child’s hand are pedophiles. Our ‘psych’ must change and return to ‘normal’. Where are the days when a child would think twice before telling his parents that he was punished at school, for fear of being reprimanded by them?
Two University of Texas educational psychologists, Willson and Hughes, say, “Parents often have to take at least some of the blame or credit.”
Willson and Hughes suggest that parents should become more involved in their child’s school and schooling to reduce the risk of their child being held back. They say parents can help by communicating regularly with teachers and taking some responsibility for monitoring children’s work and school activities. Helping children with their homework can give them the confidence they need in school.
Now more than ever, parents have more opportunities to get involved in their children’s education. Parents can now use the Internet as a tool that is full of resources that were not available just a few years ago. Moments like the ones we are experiencing today are a time for reflection and self-analysis; a time when we desperately need to take the steps that would help forge a legacy that we will leave behind, for our future generations.
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