Homeschooling Moms

QueenCreole313
What would you suggest for Education Reform?
March 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Since Common Core has been such a hot topic lately, I'm curiouse what you all would suggest for education reform in the United States? 

We are one of the only industrialized nations NOT to have reformed our educational system. China, Japan, Canda, Norway, etc. etc. all have had educational reform and I believe that is why they are beating us in international tests. 

We can't keep educating our kids like they are going into a factory. We need tech-savy, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. But, how do we do it? What are your ideas? 

Replies

  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I remember when the U.S. had the best education in the world (and our farmers fed the world).  But that was when teachers and parents had more control over the schools and curriculum.  Bureaucrats did not run things at a Federal or State level like they do now.  Heck even the lunches were fabulous.  They were prepared from scratch by local moms…not controlled by a remote dietitian.

    Finland now has the best education in they world, and guess what….they are doing many of the same things the U.S. use to do.

    • Teachers are empowered to “do what ever it takes to help the individual  child learn.”   (now we have to home school to do that. In America the home educated children outperform their public schooled counterparts, and that is true even if the educator has no degrees. )
    • Compulsory schooling does not begin until age 7. “We have no hurry,” said Louhivuori. “Children learn better when they are ready. Why stress them out?”
    • Testing is not the major measure of learning. Timo Heikkinen, a Helsinki principal with 24 years of teaching experience. “If you only measure the statistics, you miss the human aspect.” “We prepare children to learn how to learn, not how to take a test,” said Pasi Sahlberg,
    • Play is a big part of teaching.  “Play is important at this age,” Rintola would later say. “We value play.” Children spend far more time playing outside, even in the depths of winter. Homework is minimal.
    • “Finland spends about 30 percent less per student than the United States”, and provides more individualized attention.

    Read full article here:  Why Finland Schools Are So Successful

  • QueenCreole313
    March 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    So, do you think we should mimic Finland? Will that work in the US? 

  • cjsmom1
    by cjsmom1
    March 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM
    Teach things other then "core subjects"; like computers, sewing, cooking, art, music, etc. Do more hands on learning. Get rid of bad teachers regardless of tenure. Get rid of all these administrators and put more money in the classroom.
    Parents also need to be more involved and accept some responsibility for their child's education.
  • debramommyof4
    March 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

     I dont know about Finland but if we had smaller class sizes and seperated by ability instead of age I think that would help.  Then the kids would be able to learn at thier own pace.  If they figured it out then they can move up in each subject.

  • QueenCreole313
    March 25, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    When researching Finland, I discovered that they don't have seperate classes for gifted or special needs. Their culture is so non-competitive that they don't need to. I think our big problem in the State is that we make everything a competition. This is not healthy for our children. They think that if they don't learn at the same rate or in the same form as their peers then they are "wrong" or "stupid". In Finland, everyone helps those. I think it's a cultural thing. I doubt that will ever change here. 

  • QueenCreole313
    March 25, 2013 at 12:12 PM
  • WantedNameTaken
    March 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    I remember that we were separated by reading ability in elementary school. Kids who were above grade level read books that suited their ability.  The same went for those who were at and below grade level.  That model was pretty individualized.

    Reading comprehension issues spilled over into other subjects, so it was important to tackle that issue first in order to improve in other areas.  Social studies didn't make a bit of sense to kids who struggled with comprehension. All textbook learning was in jeopardy for that matter.

    Standardized tests put all students on the same playing field regardless of ability.  They don't take into account progress made by individual students each year.  For example, if a 4th-grader begins the year at a 2nd-grade reading level, but progressed to a 3rd-grade level by the end of the year, that student has learned.  However, by standardized test measures, they've failed. Repeating this process every year doesn't make any of the kids perform better.  

    Until students are taught at their learning level, they'll have issues.  If the stigma of being at different levels is removed, we might get somewhere. There's no reason why a 5th-grader who reads at grade level shouldn't be able to revert to 4th-grade math, if needed.  That's what homeschooling parents do and it works.  Currently, the roadmap says that if you're in X grade, you should be doing X coursework and must, therefore, take the X grade-level standardized test.  We're not all made the same, so there's no logic in that line of thinking.

    ETA: I didn't think I had much to say about the subject, but apparently, I did. :)

  • WantedNameTaken
    March 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    I just typed several paragraphs to say what you did in one.  LOL!  ITA with your post.

    Quoting debramommyof4:

     I dont know about Finland but if we had smaller class sizes and seperated by ability instead of age I think that would help.  Then the kids would be able to learn at thier own pace.  If they figured it out then they can move up in each subject.


  • bluerooffarm
    March 25, 2013 at 12:30 PM

     Idon't know if any of you remember OBE (Outcome Based Education) , but I think we should move in that direction.  I think our students should have a project each 6 weeks in elementary school, every 9 weeks in 5-6, each semester in 7-8 and each year in high school.  All learning would center around that project.  We did that for a year while I was in middle school.  One of our projects was building a lifesize trebouchet.  We studied the ancient wars, the physics of it, used math to design it, talked about uses and implecations of it.  We read stories that were written during the time period or adventure stories that used similar technology.  Everything circled back to the project for the entire 9 weeks. 

    We also had a garden project, built a solid house (scaled size), and a greenhouse that year.  It puts it all in perspective...you get to see exactly how you "use" the stuff you learn.  The hands-on learners, auditory learners, visual learners all had a place in the school that year.  The community got a lot back from it (the school budget started to go down because the kids were supplying some food, there were just a lot of wins) but the gov't decided it couldn't see any merit in it.  Some people thought the kids shouldn't be "working" like they were. They fired the curriculum officer from our district that summer and no one seemed to notice the HUGE jump in drop outs over the next 5 years.

    We got to see how fun learning could be and did not return to the classroom well. I imagine it would be very difficult and take a VERY creative teacer to keep it up, but IMO it is the best school model.

  • WantedNameTaken
    March 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    I'm disappointed that universities and high schools, for that matter, have people thinking that everyone is college material and that everyone should go. Trade workers have built my house and car, stitched my clothes, bound textbooks that I've purchased, and so much more!

    Manufacturers are screaming that there aren't enough skilled workers to fill job openings, yet we still focus on making sure that every highschooler leaves with a diploma having taken advanced math and science.  Those courses are great for the kids who want to go to college (in those fields), but they shouldn't be shoved down the throats of every pupil in a seat.

    Home ec., shop, repair, art, music, and computer classes all have their place in teaching and learning.  Great, respectable jobs are out there for people who have passions for these things.  American schools really should encourage students to be more industrious and foster apprenticeship opportunities and not make those who forgo college or the military like failures.

    Dan Rather recently reported on Germany's educational model as it relates to hands-on experience.  Promo (video)  Article

    There's nothing wrong with working with your hands.

    Quoting cjsmom1:

    Teach things other then "core subjects"; like computers, sewing, cooking, art, music, etc. Do more hands on learning. Get rid of bad teachers regardless of tenure. Get rid of all these administrators and put more money in the classroom.
    Parents also need to be more involved and accept some responsibility for their child's education.


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