Change in education?

The British model of education (by which we are modeled along with the farmers yearly harvest and planting schedule) is a long outdated model that does not really make sense in today’s society. For example, the idea that classes such as Health, Physical Education, Art, Music, even computer technology are “elective” classes baffles me. There might even be an argument that some of those classes have MORE value today than some of the traditional core courses. Perhaps we do not necessarily need 12 years of English or History, which would open up time to include these. We must come to an agreement that any class offered at school is as valuable as another. The rigor must be a given and the value to the world must be clear. Graduation requirements must alter dramatically to reflect that. We need to allow more classes to be dual credit between departments, so students are encouraged, not limited, by the schedule. We must get out of the absurd 8:05-8:55 is English, 9:10-9:55 is Science mentality and let curriculum, schedule, talents, grading, and offerings be truly cross-curricular. Science and Math are not separate subjects. English and Art are not separate subjects. Science, Math, and English are as much Computing Science as they are anything else. So, we are talking about a world that completely overhauls the way we look at education, approach learning, teach students, grade performance, and harnesses the raw energy of the student instead of squashing it. Students are not motivated by the questions at the end of the chapter. They are not motivated by a test of random definitions or multiple choice text bank quizzes. What can motivate them is the skills that they will learn and the accomplishment they will feel when the present their multimedia presentation to the rest of the class or a professional panel, which involved elements from every one of their classes. Students of all ages and all levels can be motivated by projects which requires collaboration, problem solving, computation, thought, creativity, perseverance, rigor, research, time, and effort . To allow for a meaningful teaching experience and more, this must be what we do in our schools day in day out all years long.

About Doug Bergman

Head of Computer Science at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC

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