No Time Off For Good Behavior

school

 

 

In most, if not all, of the states in the United States education is mandatory for all children of a certain age. Generally, students between the ages of six and eighteen must be receiving education whether public, private or in the home.

They proceed year by year through the system grouped by age and having completed the previous year’s work in English, math, science and social studies. Because of the “promotion by age” process, the academic strengths and weaknesses of individuals cannot be addressed efficiently or at all. No matter how quickly a student masters the subject matter, they must complete twelve years of schooling, Ergo, twelve years with no time off for good behavior or for that matter chance of parole. No matter how hard you work in school, no matter how many extra courses you take, the bottom line for the ninety-nine percent of students is that they have to serve their twelve year sentence.

Stop sentencing our children to twelve years without the possibility of parole or even time off for good behavior.

Make education about competency not “doing their time”.

Think about all those times when you sat through a lesson that you already knew and were bored to tears.

Think about all those times when you could have used to go a little slower to get a lesson but couldn’t.

Think about all the time wasted when the teacher had to discipline fellow students who were bored and acted out.

Think about the highly motivated and talented students for whom there was no hope of advancement because they weren’t yet old enough yet to proceed to the next competency.

Think about the economic advantages.

Think about teachers teaching highly motivated students.

Think about the students who will benefit from their hard work by being able to complete school early and begin their careers.

Think about the parents who will have children who will want to go to school.

After you have thought this through, ask your board of education to justify their current method of promoting students. If they have no good justification, push for “true” competency based education; not competency based in name only.

 

Arthur C. Clark

said, “A teacher that can be replaced by a computer should be.”.

At first I was offended.  Then, I realized that he was talking about a teacher that was still using they paradigm that we as teachers are to fill our students with information like we were filling up a glass with water.

Teachers today must be mentors, guides, facilitators, and exploration leaders.  We must also be motivators.  This not the kind of motivation provided by giving out candy, or no homework passes.  This is the kind of motivation that comes from asking relevant and thought provoking qustions and projects.  These are the kind of questions and projects that piques children’s interes.  These are the kind of projects and questions that get them discussing and arguing enough among themselves  to send them to the computers and primary sources.  We cannot create the interest, but we can find that which interests them through what we have most to offer personal contact, interest and concern in, with, and about them.

As Arthur C. Clark also said, “If children have interest, education happens.