This I Believe

Ian - lagrange, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I believe

In today’s educational society, professors are worried about the success rate of students graduating from college. High schools and middle schools alike are just as worrisome. I believe that a more personalized academic system would up the success rates in our current and coming generations.

What is this based upon? Despite its size and prosperity, the United States has one of the lowest educational standards of industrialized countries. In short, a high degree here is a mediocre degree in countries like Germany and Britain. But we have the nerve to send Doctors and physicists from Europe through American colleges again, to earn a, “More respectable Degree”. We would be first inclined to think, “America has some of the world’s brightest minds , and is one of the richest countries in the world! To compare the American educational system to that of less fortunate countries makes no sense!”. As true as that may be, those “bright minds” teach themselves. They go through universities, but, afterwards they research things that are available in higher levels of American society. Why not teach this to those who are ready to learn it, instead of keep it back because of a few low standard students?

High and middle schools. It can not only be stated by the students and teachers, but also studies that have taken place in high and middle schools. These schools focus too much attention on workload and repetition alone. By comparison, the average American in the Junior level in high school receives up to four hours of homework. The average British and German Senior (a few levels above our own), receives only two hours a night, but they still manage to go on in life to success.

What does that say about workload? Nothing. I’m sure most students would rather take an extra two to three weeks of school in the summer if we were to receive little or no homework during the year.

If we were going to become more personalized, we ought to start in the classroom. Becoming more personalized would not only install work ethic in those who need it, but also grant understanding, and maybe even friendship between the educational staff and its students.

Taking tests to assess knowledge is great, but we don’t do enough with them. They’re the main factor of getting into college, but college is almost too late to have any effect on what students are doing with life. A good step would be to sort these scores into groups, maybe sorting them into groups of twenties or fifties. Currently, when curriculums are designed, they are made for groups well into the hundreds! Making 20 students who don’t learn or act as the other 80, suffer.

I’m not blaming anyone specifically, especially not the teachers. I’m saying, why should we have to work hard to achieve what’s already there? Should those who are different be unable to learn what others do? A personalized system, I believe, would solve these problems.