Education is an important part of any person’s life. Think about it, the better the education you have, the higher the likelihood is that you will reach the “world success”. Today’s society is centered around how much education and experience a person has obtained. It is not a person’s personality that fully defines them, it is more so the amount they have comprehended, and how well they use what they retained. As I ponder the impact of education, I wonder about student’s education and whether or not they have much of a say in what they learn. Overall, the majority do not have a large say in their education, at least not in the United States. In Germany, as a study abroad student explained to us this past week, “students in Germany know what career choice they would like to pursue at a young age.” This means that the students get to choose what type of job and lifestyle they would like to have in the future as an elementary student; but I see this as being too young of an age to have students then placed in a career education path that is close to being in stone. It is possible that I may be wrong about both my views on the United states, the fact that they do not put enough emphasis on career choices, and Germany’s education viewpoint of pressuring the students to choose their career path early in life. The reason I think about this specific topic is from an idea in Web 2.0. On page 33 of this book it asks “how would our students react if we gave them control to customize their education?” This is an interesting topic and I believe that students would be thrilled to attend school if they were able to contribute to choosing which and what type of classes they need to experience. With this in mind, there needs to be some boundaries. Without any boundaries, the students would all just take easy elective classes and miss out on some of the benefits of the core classes. A strong type of boundary is having the students be more involved with the guidance counselors and discussing different types of interests, hobbies, activities, career paths, and visions of future life. Beyond increased interaction with the guidance counselors, students should get the opportunity to sit in on other classes that they wish to have next year as well as interview the current students and teacher of that class. Lastly, the teachers should get an opportunity to market their courses to the target student body and give the students a small taste of what the teacher’s class involves. With these main areas of guidance, I view students being more engaged in their learning and desiring to be attending their classes more often.
The second area of topic includes the previous statements, but goes further into a perspective of our controlled education system. Pause and think about all of your education in the past. For the majority of your education, do you feel you were learning to pass a test, or where you learning to be educated? In the Web 2.0 tools book, it discusses the idea of an overuse and over emphasis in standardized tests. We all know it is true, much of the current and past education has teachers educating students about what is on the test, instead of educating students for the enjoyment of learning. Think about the impact that educating students for the enjoyment of learning would have on students. If students were taught to learn instead of taught to memorize for some test, then they would most likely see more of the fun in learning and desire to learn instead of desire to pass. This is not some simple road to travel, for the majority of teachers to educate with this style, change would need to occur. The primary spot of the beginning of the change would need to be the government standards, and then from there the change can move throughout the ladder. If our nation reached a point of learning for the fun of being more educated, then I believe teachers and students would become more passionate about school/learning. Until the standards become changed, teachers will need to let their creative sides flare up and engage in developing a thrilling learning atmosphere.