Archive for the ‘Education Information’ Category

When searching for what made school effective, I found this (http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_What_Makes_School/) article. This article points out great ways on how to be an effective school, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on it as a student.

The author’s first point is that the school must be a safe and organized place. I totally agree. Although I think there’s a difference between being safe and organized, and feeling safe and organized. If schools are safe and organized, it usually means they’re pretty well off. They have their rules, they have their ideals, and they keep things in line. But students might still feel in danger of other kids. In order to feel safe, the teachers must be caring and compassionate without being patronizing. They should treat us like the people we are — Children, adolescents, or young adults. And then the students feel comfortable in class, and they know they have at least one higher up to go to with problems.

Point two: Have high expectations for the students. I agree and disagree with this one. I agree that teachers and leaders shouldn’t just let us slide with whatever, but they need to push and motivate, not just expect and give bad grades if it doesn’t happen. There’s one teacher of mine that just recently… “Left” his job, that comes to mind. He would let you work on things until you were done. He didn’t just expect you to have this done, and then give a grade based on the finished product. He kept up on how things were going, he pushed you to finish and have a quality result, he was great. Then there are other teachers (I’m looking at the math teachers here) that just toss a whole lot of homework at you, give a depthless, “half-baked” lesson, and leave you for dead when you show up sleep deprived and only half done. Have high hopes and motivate us. That’s how we work, or else we grow up never living up to anyone’s expectations. And that’s very unsafe.

Three: Have a relatable leader. I give a “yay” on this one. My principle isn’t around a whole lot, but he’s there when he needs to be. He’s pretty laid back, he’s up for chatting, and so are many of the other teachers and leaders. And that’s important, as I stated in the first point. It lets the kids know that they have leaders to go to, to look up to. It gives them actual teachers, not just people who lecture.

Up next is having a clear mission. I don’t really care much or hear much about our school’s mission, but I know that having one at least gives the school’s administration something to enforce and come up with rules by. It gives a little bit of a backbone for the rules, some structure. That’s all I have to say about that, just because I don’t hear much of my school’s.

The authors fifth idea, is to monitor the students’ progress. I think this goes back to having the teachers push and motivate us. It just comes with pushing the students to do better. It’s common sense.

We’re almost done here, second to last point: Provide an opportunity to learn. That doesn’t just mean be open, but it means being efficient in class. Providing an opportunity must be worked for, not merely given.

Lastly, the author says there must be a partnership between the school and home. And that is completely true. There needs to be a constant drive for success. Constantly pushing, constantly motivating.

Notice how there’s no “Have lots of homework!” or “Be cruel!” It’s all easy going. It’s all well driven, and structured around the students and the relationships the students have with the administrators. There needs to be a relationship, not just a student and a teacher.

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After having some conversations and looking at some websites, I’ve made a few conclusions, as well as have some opinions from other people. In class we talked about our topics. One student was looking at how the human mind responds to music and how we could use that to influence our lives for the better. Did you know that in the Cold War, both sides (U.S. and Soviets) had figured out a specific frequency that could brainwash and control someone’s mind? Like hypnotising somebody’s body to a sound. IT’S CRAZY.

Now, when I brought up my topic, a lot of people agreed that our school system in America was really bad. Most everybody I talked to said that the way school is, they’re not really learning anything and that it felt like being “manufactured” so to speak. I eventually spoke up about how Finland runs school, and they all loved that. There’s not as much homework, and school is available to everybody. I’m not talking about racist separation, or sexist separation… I mean economic separation.

 

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In an article by Lee Price of the EPI Research group, it’s stated that more of the white population, even with a criminal record, will have a better time getting a job than completely clean black people. This directly relates to how much money people make, and thus the kind of living and education a child receives. This kind of economic restriction that exists is pathetic, and it just doesn’t happen in Finland. Something that I found interesting is that there are no private schools in Finland.

User Tstev of TheAtlantic.com pointed out that by having public and private schools, some of the better, more efficient, and most of all more effective teachers work at private schools, even if just a few years. This leaves the public schools to maybe not have as good of teachers. Public schools also receive more spread out funding meaning old textbooks and equipment, class sizes are enormous, and it just doesn’t work. I understand there is a sort of bragging rights and exclusivity feel to working at a private school, and this is enough to make some teachers be willing to work with a lower salary. I always thought private school teachers made more, but as a fellow student Louis pointed out, and as The Atlantic confirmed, private teachers make less money than public schools’ teachers.

This is very relevant  to the book I’m reading, because Junior is a poor Native American teen. He normally goes to school on the reservation (The Rez, as they call it) but eventually moves to a school filled predominantly with white students. This happens after Junior gets in trouble with administration for breaking a teacher’s nose. “I wasn’t aiming for anything really. Well, I was planning on hitting something, you know? …… Something dead, you know, not alive” (pg 34). He decides to transfer to Reardan to give himself and his family some hope. Reardan is a public school, but it’s the same idea. Reardan is expensive, it’s 98% white people, everyone is smart and/or athletic. It’s very, very, high up on the food chain, and the school in The Rez is very, very low.

This is the kind of thing I want to eradicate. There should be one school per town, and it would be equal in all respects. Equal admission. Equal funding. Equality for the students, racial and sexual. I’m a firm believer in many things, and equality is number two in my list. It would by no means be the exact same, that’s the second thing I want to get rid of. But it should be equal. 3/3 and 12/12 are both 1, but they’re still both different things.

I want equal education, but without it being the exact same for everybody.