…tudents stumble at the lower steps? And sometimes it’s not the students’ faults; nor the teachers’. The academic year is so fast-paced with so much crammed into its 12 [or 16] weeks that students [and teachers] barely survive. That’s why Graduation Speech jokes like this come as no surprise;
My last direct experience with education was ten years ago, when my older son graduated college and the younger one finished high school. I have to ask if the level of curriculum has changed all that much. Has the amount of material increased? Or is this the result of the new testing requirements instituted with No Child Left Behind, which seem to have hurt the system, rather than helped it?
When I compare my education to that of my kids, I notice that math curriculum seems to have accelerated a little bit, but English and History haven’t. And now they don’t teach much about Government or Civics.
Are there any studies that compare the academic levels of kids before and after the advent of the personal computer?
Is the desire to use short cuts or cheat outright different now than it was 50 years ago?
With regard to creativity, this is too large a subject to address in this comment, and the possible causes are so varied and beyond the scope of our educational system, they need to be addressed in a separate story.
What I will share is the most memorable educational experience I have ever observed:
In my son’s junior year of high school he was recruited by his AP Physics teacher to join the FIRST Robotics team at the school. Not only did this inspire him to become a mechanical engineer, it changed his life and the lives of his teammates.
Everything the kids learned in math, physics, computer programming, even creative writing was applied in the real world as team members split up into groups with specific tasks: drive shaft, frame, hydraulics, marketing and fundraising, etc.
During the pressure of the month-long build season, it was the first time I ever saw kids wanting to stay in school, asking parents to bring them food so they could work until 9 or 10 p.m.