5 Reasons Traditional Education Failed America's Youth

  Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Once upon a time, enthusiasts in the United States built an educational system to fit the industrial revolution's economic needs. Fast forward to today, and it appears that the current educational system can't satisfy the needs of our hyper-connected society — an ever-evolving society. Half-measures, often hilarious misdiagnoses of academic problems, blame-shifting, and humbug abound in the history of reform initiatives in American public education. Everyone is an expert in some way (most have, of course, suffered through the same system they want to reform).

An illusion of debate often obscures a surprising consensus on the decade's heralded "magic bullet." School centralization, progressive education, preschool education, or computerizing the classroom will solve America's education problems at any given time during school reform. These magical bullets are notorious for exploding. Instead of switching weapons, policymakers just put another round in the chamber, naively hoping that the latest craze will triumph despite its predecessors' failures.

The rest of the world is progressing while America's students remain trapped in a rut. In math and science education, the World Economic Forum puts us at 38th. The United States ranks at the bottom of industrialized countries (the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) on international math tests. We're in the middle of the pack in science and reading. Similarly, despite having one of the highest percentages of high-school and college graduates among OECD countries, we are currently in the bottom half for high-school graduates and in the middle for college graduates. These estimates do not account for educational advancements in China, Singapore, and many other developing countries.

During the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, America built a hugely successful middle class, first by making high school compulsory and then, after WWII, by making college considerably more accessible through the GI Bill and other scholarship programs. As a result, our educational attainment kept up with our rapid technological progress. However, things have changed dramatically since 1980, and technological growth is outpacing our academic achievement. Our supply of college graduates expanded at over 4% per year from 1960 to 1980; since then, it has increased at around half that rate. As a result, we're swiftly approaching two Americas: an affluent elite and an increasingly colossal underclass lacking the necessary skills to flourish.

How Has The Education System Failed Us? 

The American education system is far from perfect and has consistently failed practically. The younger students face difficulties in their studies (at least the ones concerned about it), and the older ones opt-out of receiving a college education altogether. Here are the ways the American education system has failed us:

Modern Technology - Helpful or Horrible? 

Technology has become integral to many aspects of our everyday lives and our children's lives. It may be beneficial and harmful for children within the classroom and within learning environment limits. Many child care specialists explore the benefits and drawbacks of technology in education and remedies to potential problems. Many school-aged youngsters nowadays have been exposed to technological devices since they were toddlers. As a result, students often equate computers, tablets, and other comparable devices with excitement and enjoyment. As a result, using technology in the classroom helps keep students engaged and excited in class and revitalizes traditional learning experiences.

According to studies, more children (aged between 11 and 16) are getting detached and isolated due to the connections that technology gives through social networks. Young children who spend more time on electronics may spend less time socializing with their peers, which can impact their social and emotional development. To mitigate this danger, "technology time" should be limited to allow youngsters to interact socially with their family and friends.

Many technology-based games and activities are "pre-made," allowing kids to finish activities without thinking of new methods to solve problems. However, just as many games stimulate creative development and problem-solving skills while also being enjoyable in solitary or a group. Choosing the latter and giving various learning tools, such as manipulatives or painting supplies, can guarantee that your children get the most out of their playtime.

Screen culture has made it considerably more difficult for educators to do their jobs. Nowadays, education has become linked with entertainment. With the greatest of intentions, parents rush to offer instructional games as soon as their children have the fine motor abilities to handle a touch screen. Because each learner's knowledge base and technical sophistication vary, it's even more challenging for educators to stay up in the classroom.

Students’ minds must be kept vigilant and active to allow creativity to flow and learning to foster. Journaling is one way our brains can be stimulated to induce learning. Students must begin to move towards increasing their focus and attention through long-form expressive writing. This type of writing provides logical and coherently structured responses and counterarguments to thought-provoking questions. It helps students learn and understand complex concepts. JournalOwl's newest service JournalClips™ aims to provide educators with the proper tools to further learning. This includes using online platforms where teachers can leave writing prompts for students to fill out and journal. They can be related to any subject matter. 

Lack Of Innovation by The Teachers 

Teacher shortages are spreading like a disease. Fewer workers with state-required credentials are available to teach, and surveys estimate that over half are considering leaving the profession. States are lowering their employment criteria and standards to assist. Retired teachers have been rehired, counselors and coaches have been trained to teach, and even unqualified teachers have been placed in classrooms in Missouri. Gov. JB Pritzker signed a requirement removing the necessity for teacher candidates to pass a basic abilities test to obtain an education license in Illinois.

The lack of autonomy is one of the main reasons why many teachers are considering leaving the profession. Teachers in schools do not call the shots, one prominent ed school professor says. They don't have much of a say unfortunately. Allowing teachers to innovate would boost teacher satisfaction while simultaneously improving student outcomes. While headlines (and unions) scream that it's all about the money, the real solution is to give people the freedom to be their own boss.

Other countries that pay educators substantially more, such as Luxembourg and Switzerland are extraordinarily performance-driven and provide extensive latitude to their local cantons (districts), allowing them to choose their own school calendar, education organization, teaching methods, and curricula. Indeed, moving decisions and finances to the school level is the key to developing a practical and appealing profession that makes our educators happy. Teachers could enjoy their own pursuits, build what they start, and reap the benefits of success if we permitted them to behave like entrepreneurs. So they can make quick judgments locally and change direction as situations demand.

Allowing teachers to be innovative with other methods such as online platforms, videos, and writing prompts can decide how to teach the syllabus while keeping students interested. JournalClips™ allows teachers to upload lecture videos, which students can go home to review. The service also enables you to ask questions related to the video. 

Lack of Student Feedback 

Students must recognize their areas of weakness and work to improve them. Students unable to identify areas of poor performance will be unable to enhance their academic performance. People are often discouraged by such conditions and forsake their aspirations.

Feedback is any response to a student's performance or behavior. It can be expressed in various ways, including verbally, in writing, and by gestures. In the evaluation and learning process, the purpose of feedback is to assist students in improving their performance, not to harm it. The learner must have a positive, or at the very least neutral, learning experience due to the feedback process. Negative feedback has the potential to demotivate pupils' efforts and outcomes. Instructors have a special responsibility to assist students in their learning and provide feedback so that they can improve.

Unfortunately, in this field, feedback is seen as a problematic issue. The traditional type of feedback is still used by most professors. This type of feedback is frequently ineffective in helping students improve their learning experience. It is past time for instructors to reconsider their approach to offering feedback. They should refrain from using the typical method of providing feedback to students. Unfortunately, most schools in America do not implement that system. 

Hence, providing feedback is crucial in alerting students about where they are doing well, where they need to improve, and where they understand the information correctly and incorrectly. Students are more likely to respond favorably and remember what they have learned when they receive regular feedback on their performance.

Suppose you wait too long to give feedback. In that case, however, the opportunity will pass you by, and the student will be unable to link the input to the required action. However, comments should always be focused on the pupils' most essential learning areas - those in which they excel. Knowing the accuracy and inaccuracy of their work is extremely valuable to kids' learning when they are provided proper explanations or examples. To keep your feedback practical and action-oriented, use the feedback sandwich method. You can utilize JournalClips™ to provide your pupils feedback. According to successful teaching and learning studies, learners want to know where they stand with their work. Answering the following four questions regularly can help you provide valuable student feedback.

  • What are the student's options?
  • What is it that the student is unable to do?
  • How does the student's work compare to that of their peers?
  • What can the student do to better their situation?

Scarcity in Gifted Education 

The term "talented and gifted" (TAG) is applied to the most advanced students. TAG programs segregate learner peers beginning in early elementary school for individualized learning activities. Though the idea is sound, its practice in modern American public schools is often monotonous and unappealing. Schools must discover ways to acknowledge various learning abilities and go beyond the traditional "gifted" student concept. The national endeavor to better reflect today's ever-evolving learner body in gifted programs is a start on the right path. However, fundamental transformation takes place on a small basis – in individual districts, schools, and TAG programs. That development must begin with an awareness of the makeup of a particular student body and novel strategies to involve all learners. This includes the disabled.

Individuals with impairments have a global dilemma when it comes to university accessibility. One of the significant limitations impaired students face is the lack of access to recorded lectures. These tools are required by students who rely on recorded knowledge and students with mental health difficulties and learning challenges. Students with impairments can have an equal opportunity to hear and understand the material presented in class if their notetaking needs are met by recording lectures with an audio recording device. This, like all other accommodations, is granted individually to reduce the consequences of the student's handicap in the classroom. 

One of the most common concerns among educators is whether adjustments would change the nature of the subject they are teaching. Accommodations, however, are designed to ensure that all students have equal access to learning in the classroom. Closed captions, for example, can instantly assist your deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils in understanding the lecture. Using our services makes this easy.

Visually impaired students may have difficulty observing non-verbalized movements. Those with photosensitive epilepsy may experience seizures due to flashing lights or visuals. At the same time, those with hearing loss may be unable to hear the accompanying sounds. Closed captioning, electronic transcripts, describing on-screen action, allowing students to check out the video on their own, and clarifying the role the video plays in the day's lesson all aid students with disabilities in accessing the material and participating fully in class. Other students can interact with the subject in as many ways as they want. 

Our Assessment of Children is Wrong 

Individual learners' development is not accurately measured by the existing assessment system. We should be looking for assessment solutions that can include technology, gather data, and account for the variances among test takers. Although the initial investment may be substantial, we owe it to our students to develop a fair assessment system that will aid in developing brighter minds for the future.

Assessment methods are among the most critical influencers on students' learning. It is well understood that assessment significantly impacts what and how students study, how much they learn, and how well they know. The volume of assessed work and the quality of the assessment types are two factors to consider. This study analyzes how evaluations influence students' learning approaches and discuss numerous effective assessment strategies in Engineering. Currently, there are significant disparities in how assessments are carried out. There are differences in the amount of formative and summative assessment, the amount of oral and written feedback, and the degree of learning outcome measurement, for example.

The three core components of education are curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The "three legs of the classroom stool," as author Milton Chen refers to them, must all be equally strong for the "stool" to work effectively, balance, and supportively. Typically, an instructor's mind is preoccupied with how and what to teach rather than how they will evaluate it. As a result, the assessment 'leg' of the classroom stool is frequently the weakest, least understood, and least efficiently applied of the three.

Teachers can use open-ended questions that prompt someone to write or speak. Use phrasing like "Does this make sense?" instead of yes/no questions. Students frequently respond with a yes to these questions. It's not strange, then, that numerous pupils later admit to being lost. To assist students in understanding concepts in class, ask open-ended questions that compel pupils to write or speak. They'll almost certainly reveal more than you'd expect if you asked them straight. 

Ask students to reflect on the lesson and write down what they've learned over the last five minutes of class. Then encourage them to think about how they might use this notion or skill in a real-life situation. Exit tickets, which may be created with programs like Loop, make it simple to administer and assess student responses. All pupils in the class hold up index cards, signs, whiteboards, magnetic boards, or other materials simultaneously to indicate their answer to a question or problem posed by the teacher. The teacher can effortlessly note individual students' responses while teaching the entire class using response devices.

Students write on what they learned, struggled with, tactics that helped them, and other lesson-related subjects in their reflections on a lesson. Lessons can be reflected on and processed by students. Teachers can detect class and individual misconceptions and triumphs by examining student work–especially learning journals that help students think. You can also use online platforms such as our JournalClips™.

Health Disclaimer

JournalOwl is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptoms or conditions. JournalOwl is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice. You should never disregard professional psychological or medical advice, or delay in seeking treatment, based on anything you read on JournalOwl’s website or platform.

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