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Student Voices: Why the Education System is Flawed and What to Do About It

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Every weekday, I’m exhausted from the previous night’s homework and come to class for the first time. The teacher will teach for 55 minutes, I will take notes, and the bell will ring. Write down your homework, get up, and repeat. 7 times. 5 days a week for the last 6 years. Check after check without any personality, just like everyone else. Is this learning?

I’ve been thinking seriously about school for a long time.It’s widely disliked by both students and teachers, how they count down the days until break, how they disrespect Mondays. I have heard complaints from teachers and parents. but why? Shouldn’t something so fundamental to our success in life and the performance of our society deserve more recognition?

We’ve all heard people say, “The system is flawed.” Our education system in its current form needs a radical change. State-mandated school curricula must incorporate locally-focused and integrated learning, applying content from different subjects to increase relevance. It is also in everyone’s best interest that teachers earn our trust, freed from restrictive state curriculum requirements and able to make their own decisions about what. their I need a student.

Sadly, schools too often rob students of the joy of learning. According to a survey conducted by the education news website, only 50% of students feel that what they are learning in school is relevant. And student engagement only drops further with each grade. A YouthTruth analysis of survey responses from 2012 to 2017 found that 78% of students were engaged in learning in elementary school, down to 59% in middle and high school.

I enjoy learning very much. When I entered high school, I became interested in the origin of the universe, time, and free will. I was drawn to forums and articles about space-time and determinism. I learned a lot about philosophy and physics while going down these rabbit holes in the “wonderland” of the internet. Some of my questions were left unanswered, but I loved the whole process. It was given to me. So why are so many students like me unable to find the same motivation to learn at school?

For me, it’s a restrictive 7-period structure. Lack of personal relevance due to a rigid, predetermined curriculum. It is a clear lack of usefulness in the larger scheme of our world. To mitigate these problems, schools need to be more involved in interdisciplinary learning. Maya Bhat, a third year student in her International Baccalaureate Diploma program at Skyline High School in Sammamish, said this could help students become versatile. “It’s important to recognize that there are crossovers in many areas, and those crossovers are how you innovate,” she said. Curriculum crossover is rare in schools.

The entire education system, including textbook companies, state benchmark tests, and graduate programs, determines what and how we learn. This prevents us from exploring the crossovers between subjects necessary to fully understand the systems of our world. To give education the importance and value it needs, the restrictive nature of school must be reversed. We need to reinvent the system from the grassroots, starting with the methodology.

Integrated learning brings relevance to your class without sacrificing the rigor you need. I vividly remember looking at the wastewater treatment process in 7th grade physical science class. Our class competed in groups to develop a filtration system to produce the clearest water from a turbid sample. application, and performing a basic cost-benefit analysis using mathematics. Most importantly, the project involved a local wastewater treatment plant. From there the rep showed me how the whole process works using real pipes. I remember looking forward to this project every day, especially because of its clear connection to the real world.

Educational researchers Alam Malik and Rukhsana Malik define integrated learning as “the organization of educational matters to bring together subjects that are normally taught separately”. Many journalists have found that Finland uses a form of integrated learning called ‘phenomenon-based learning’ (PBL). In this method, teachers from different subjects teach together. Students select interdisciplinary topics and phenomena (such as the European Union and climate change) to structure their learning. Studies have shown that PBL improved student performance over her two years, and integrated learning is linked to better grades. A study of her 6th grade class that incorporated arts into the core curriculum found that her reading and math scores increased by 15%. 18% less.

Education is one of the most important elements of society. Our teachers therefore deserve our trust and utmost respect. But neither is allowed given the restricted curriculum, unfair wages, and little freedom to teach according to student interests. See Google’s ‘Teacher’s Resignation Letter’ for anguish about the many ways teachers have been deprived of their teaching freedom, feeling powerless and unable to teach their students in the way they deem best. You can find full explanations,” says Randi Weingarten. , president of the American Federation of Teachers. If our teachers are not satisfied with the current means of educating students to the point that they no longer want to teach, it is clear that schools need systemic change. It is evident when we see that society’s perception of schools has not improved in decades.

We enjoy learning by shedding light on real-world interdisciplinary systems. And we learn best when we enjoy learning. So, use an integrated learning model to put the leadership of education back to those who matter most: us, our students and teachers.