This is a comment by on the post “Moving Into the Red: Boys and Education“.
“I come with a message of hope … change is happening, though it does happen slowly. There are many young scholars entering higher ed that know they were ripped off of their K-12 education … and they are pissed. Furthermore, professors have been trying to counter the declining quality of students who are entering postsecondary ed. They are well aware that most people have the intellectual capacity to succeed, but most kids K-12 are only trained to take tests. It is unfortunate, since the K-12 period is the time when the brain is most malleable, yet brain bending does not happen at the K-12 level. Even comparing the education I received K-12 (I am 24.5), the kids today are disenfranchised. It is sickening.
“There are many contributing factors to the declining performance of students, but the biggest problem is that test preparation does not equip young people with the skills to analyze what they learn. K-12 is all about memorization. Sorry, but no job is entirely dependent on memorization. Currently, there is no goal for developing future professionals. No goals for information synthesis. No goals for critical thinking. No goals for schema diversification. Yet, these are all skills that are essential for succeeding in a competitive adult world. K-12 is only preparing kids to sit down, shut up, and fill in bubble sheets. Sickening.
“It is unfortunate that the current generation of K-12 kids may not experience the benefits of the changes that are taking place. Hopefully by the time your son is in his later school years, he will be in a classroom that is more engaging, and he will be given more opportunities to utilize his very active mind. And for goodness sake, hopefully he (and everyone else) won’t be cynical to the educational system by the time these changes roll around. There is no longer mere ‘awareness’ among academic circles. Of course, we will have to wait for those who are hung up in the old ways to either change, retire, or die, but this era of test-taking academics is slowly closing. It is evident in the people I encounter as a TA, as well as the professors who see the purpose of their discipline dying.
“Hang tough, and continue being supportive. For now, it is up to the parents to truly engage their kids. With your encouragement, your son will make it.”
Photo credit: Flickr / woodleywonderworks