Remove The Misplaced Focus In Our Educational System

It is the general notion of every one that children should be educated suitably and should be made to understand situations. This will help them to behave appropriately. But, in reality, every grown-up person should learn a lot from kids. Every behavior of kids has lessons embedded in them. If you learn from their behavior and in turn, guide them suitably to learn life’s lessons, they will blossom into very important people in the society. Psychologists also opine that we should prepare our children for facing the world. They should be made to understand every mood of others and how people can react in various moods.

In fact, children get parallel education at home and also from the society in which they live. Though the importance of academic education can not be questioned, the education that is offered by life itself and other human beings is much greater than the academic education they get. What is learned from life and others can never be forgotten. But, unfortunately, there seems to be a wide gap between what is taught in schools and colleges and what is learned outside these institutions. Due to the power of the “external education”, what is learned in academic institutions is relegated to the background. That is the reason we find many highly intelligent children taking to arms, becoming terrorists and indulging in Internet thefts and many other nefarious activities even after getting a good education.

This goes to prove that the educational system that is prevalent now needs a complete overhauling. When parents send their children to educational institutions, they have only one aim. Their goal is that their children should get very good qualifications, settle down in a good job, a profession or a business and earn well. They can not be faulted but chasing material success alone makes the lives of the children “empty”. Even children who sizzle throughout their academics fail to achieve success in their lives. On the contrary, we find many school drop-outs achieving huge success. So, our contention that academic education alone can help our children to achieve success is fundamentally flawed.

Our educational system should be suitably modified so that we produce good human beings who can channel pressure to their advantage and who aim to achieve bigger things like mental excellence. Our children should have the required courage, energy and conviction for refusing to hold back when situations warrant their services or presence. They should have the astuteness to manage their time judiciously so that they can contribute to the society while striving for personal achievements also. They should be mentally strong and be capable of matching the demands of life, that may be unforgiving at times.

Life is calling and these children can offer a lot to the society and this will satiate their quest for personal success as well as improvement of the society in which they live.

Retransforming the Education System

There are certain set of moral values and traditional beliefs that are passed on from older generations to newer generations. These values and belief now however are falling short of the latest trends in the education system. We all now that change is inevitable. Based on this theory the education system also needs to undergo tremendous change so that it can cope up with the fast changing times. The old standards of reading, writing and learning have to be left behind in order to put new methodologies to use. The world today is a global village and the education system of today revolves around this thought.

The subjects whether related to academic topics or with social concerns are being talked about at international level and not at national or regional level. The schools today are not teaching the lessons of patriotism. No one wants to limit their child’s thought to the borders of a country. The teachers of today teach the lesson of unity in diversity. Instead of teaching “God bless America” teachers are emphasizing on “We are the world”. The lessons that even give a single hint of racism or traditionalism have been chucked out of the text books. The text books have lessons which are compatible with the whole world. The social issues also are related with issues like global warming and other environmental issues.

The question that arises is that is all this that is happening for the good? Are we sure that this transformation of the education system will not have any wrong results? It is high time that we the people put on our thinking caps and take hold of this situation. All the things that are happening are having a politically correct angle attached with them. The upcoming generations are becoming dumber. We are sending our children to schools to make them even dumber. The moral values are running the lowest with the youth of today.

Children find it very hard to respect their elders and children can not be blamed for this. They are not being taught that paying respect to elders is important.

The children today are more impatient and lack common sense. The only good thing that they see in the whole world is their video game console. They are free to play whenever and wherever they feel like. The interest from studies is also diminishing as there are many governments across the globe which have banned the concept of giving failing grades to children up to a particular age. This was done as a step to improve the education system but the irony of the situation is that the standard of education has fallen even lower than before because the children have stopped taking studies seriously.

Giving the children modern day education is a good thing happening around but this modern age education must take along with it the old morals, values and beliefs in order to achieve over all improvement t of the society. A perfect blend of the old and the new concepts will not only make excellent professionals but will also make good human beings.

Why Finland’s Education System Works

Not too long ago, Finland’s education system was comparable to that in the U.S. How they changed their system is interesting, because by having “less” school they are achieving greater results. In the U.S., the system of “doing what you hate longer and harder” seems to be the prevailing logic driving the “scientific test-results” orientation to achievement. Both systems are multi-cultural and multi-lingual and have special populations served in the general education setting.

U.S. Approach To Reform

Children must enroll in school (kindergarten or first grade) at age 5. Many children have had preschool experiences because parents work or they are qualified for Head Start, Early Start, Even Start and other programs. Preschool standards involve readiness skills (standards directed), but not all children receive such instruction. Direct reading (decoding) instruction begins in kindergarten and ends in second grade. State (and federal) standards direct what instruction children receive from kindergarten through high school and in higher education settings (technical/vocational schools and colleges/universities). Children must remain in school until they reach the age of dropping out (varies by state but usually between 16 and 18 years of age) or they graduate by meeting all their state’s requirements. Standards, formal testing and statistics drive decision making by central administrators not in contact with students.

Finnish Approach To Reform

Children enroll in school at age 7, but they are given several years of preschool experiences which focus on language and physical development. The schools tend to be small because population centers are few; usually the schools have 300-400 students. Local teachers control their schools and curricula; they spend some of their work day developing and/or preparing materials to be used. Their school day is shorter than in the U.S. and they spend a lot of time outdoors, either in play or in applied “work” in the outdoor setting. Students attend elementary schools for 5-7 years, at which point they attend either a vocational schools or a higher education schools. Student skills and interests drive local decision making by teachers working with students.

What Are The Critical Differences?

The critical differences are:

· Preschool experiences are different: the U.S. focus on readiness (cognitive) skills development for reading and math, the Finnish focus on developmental skills in language and physical development. This translates into developmental readiness for instruction (Finland) or struggle to achieve (U.S.).

· School sizes differ: The U.S. consolidates and usually has 500+/school, the Finnish have few students so everyone receives attention. This translates into emotional security (Finland) or insecurity (U.S.).

· Children start reading instruction at different ages: the U.S. at age 5, the Finnish at age 7. This translates into being neurologically ready for instruction (Finland) or compensating with taxed memory skills (U.S.).

· Vocational schools are options for education in early adolescence. This translates into motivation (Finland) or non-motivational (U.S.).

· Decisions are based on testing/statistics (U.S.) or motivation and interests (Finland).

Conclusions

Focusing on behaviors and achievements for guiding change eliminates the humanness of education: interest, motivation, purpose. No matter how anyone looks at it, the U.S. system is a failure. Perhaps those making the decisions should relinquish the controls and let teachers who work with students and know what they need and want to learn make the decisions. Instead of rushing children to early achievement, maybe those who know about what happens to children developmentally will start driving the reforms.