Monday, May 2, 2011

Where Is Education Headed?

By Dupe Aleru|May 2, 2011|8:13 a.m.

One can clearly argue that education has come a long way...but does one view education in a positive or negative light?

Dissecting the cons...

Twenty years ago, classrooms weren't as jammed packed as we are currently seeing them in today's classrooms. Students were able to learn in an environment that catered to their well-being.

Over the past decade, class size has risen as budget cuts threaten many jobs for educators in many states such as California, Georgia, Ohio, Utah and Nevada.

One can only imagine teaching a kindergarten classroom of 30-35 students! Most schools do not receive funding to have teacher's aides, VIPs or the like, so teachers have a large workload on top of an already difficult task...being an educator in 21st Century where standards have also risen, along with the stress of losing one's job.

The pros...

When one looks back 35 years ago, he/she can argue that education has taken a positive turn for many reasons...

1) There are a mass amount of available resources for parents to partner with the school to help their child succeed (ex. technology, workshops, pamphlets, counseling and even schooling).
2) Students can now be identified with learning disabilities such as dyslexic, ADHD, Autism, Speech/Hearing impairment etc. There are programs like IEP's that assist these students in receiving an "individualized instruction plan" for his/her general education.
3) Teacher's are trained to differentiate instruction for students who need additional one-on-one instruction...students no longer are "left behind"...which brings me to #4
4) NCLB (No Child Left Behind)...assessing every student to ensure that every student in every classroom reap the benefits of highly qualified teachers...therefore,
5) Standards has risen for teachers. Teachers are now well educated and highly qualified in all subject areas
6) ELL instruction and professional development leads to "closing the gap"
...the list goes on

The fact of the matter is, though education has taken a negative turn in the past few years due to the budget cuts, the overall picture, deems supreme. It's hard to argue against the fact that education is still in a better place than it was 35 years ago. Though education has taken a few steps back, the steps it has taken forward over the past few decades has given many students the skills, tools and confidence to succeed as lifelong learners.

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