Legacy: Reflections on Education Today

Well, it’s been about a month since I blogged.  Of course it’s because its near the end of the semester and I’ve had crazy projects and papers due this month, so there was no additional time to blog.   So this is, in part, a reflection on this past semester and my re-introduction to education classes (such as classroom observation and laws concerning education like IDEA and No Child Left Behind)

Back when I first attended college (I got married in my junior year and didn’t finish) there wasn’t such a thing as the previous laws I just mentioned above.  It wasn’t until the latter 1990s and on into the Bush administration that these were passed and enacted.  Everyone I know is familiar with them, and if you’re not, you should be.  I think they’re the worst thing that’s happened to our educational system.

There will be many who disagree with me, but there will also be a majority who will agree with me.  Because of these particular laws, I have observed this semester some frightening things about students today.  Would you like to know what I’ve seen?  Here are a few:

1.  I was told by one student that I had pretty handwriting.  She wished she could write in cursive like me.  (She was a college student)  I was floored by the fact that cursive is not longer taught to students in today’s classroom.

2.  I was asked by a professor in class if everyone knew how to tell time?  Confused for just a moment, I realized she was taking about telling time on a regular clock.  Students are not taught that either in today’s classroom, because technology has made everything easy for us.

3.  One of the History professors had extensive eye surgery, and I helped him grade papers.  All text is written not in cursive but in block lettering with hardly any paragraph structure.  It’s looks like one big text memo or email.

4.  Students get easily confused if there is not a multiple choice test because they’ve been taught to take “standardized tests”  which is coloring a little circle.    Asking them to construct an essay answer sends many in a frenzied panic. (Witnessed by me who works as the History Tutor at my college.)

What legacy are we leaving our future generations, if education laws tell us, that as teachers, we must teach only what is “standardized?”   Have we pushed our children to mediocre learning by lowering expectations with the No Child Left Behind Act?  Teaching children with just the knowledge needed to pass a standard test has left no room for creativity and freedom in learning.   I feel greatly disturbed by the path we are leading our children down, and I feel helpless.  Is there nothing I can do about the destructive legacy we are leaving future generations, and the looming decrease of intelligence in them?

Chainbooks.com – Writer’s Wanted!

I’ve met this wonderful guy who has come up with a unique writing experience for everybody.  Chainbooks.com is a company which will soon be up and running on the web.  I really am impressed with Matt Evon and Chainbooks because as a future teacher, his goal is to make Chainbooks something that schools would eventually utilize in helping children experience writing chapter books, and at the same time teaching them to process and develop storylines, characters and enhance their writing ability.  It’s got great dynamics!!!

Matt still needs help with acquiring “Starter Chapters” though.  These “Starter Chapters” need to be about 2500 – 3000 words long.  As a “Starter Chapter” author, you receive a payment for the “Starter Chapter” plus you will receive royalty payments once the book is completed and copies sold (payment is based on how many are sold).  You can get more information at http://www.chainbooks.com/.