Friday, March 26, 2010

Einstein Quote (Response to the Responses)

In my personal opinion, as of now, I think that school is a great place to be introduced to accepted knowledge, and touch on topics that are required in the curriculum.  In my formal education I have been exposed to many new topics and concepts that are very important to further learning and discovery, as well as everyday life.  Through my classes I have learned very much about English, Science, Spanish, History, and Math, but much of this learning, in my opinion, has involved a lot of pure memorization, "busy work," and strict methods of problem solving.  In fact, Einstein had the same accusation of modern education.

Similarly to Einstein, I think that all of the "busy work," and memorization has been done only to do well on the assessments, but it has not actually helped me in any other sector.  Einstein was a master of solving problems, and I think that problem solving is a skill that does not come naturally.  In my learning in math over the years, the problems introduced to us have merely been execution and routine.  I commonly find myself doing the same problems with different variations.  Although this is very important, I do not believe that this should be the responsibility of the teacher.  I think that in school teachers should introduce a topic and be accessible for assistance, and extra challenges to improve our problem solving skills.  I am forced to ask myself, "In modern education is it possible to educate the entire youth population without forcing students to do "work"?"  "What is the responsibility of the curriculum for advanced and deeper studies?"  "Is deeper knowledge the responsibility of the student?"

In education, you get from your classes from what challenges you take upon yourself. Students have the opportunity to take honors and AP classes, excel in the class, and complete the work thoroughly.  In one of my previous reflections I mentioned that one of my goals as a student has been to not only complete the assigned work, but also fully grasp the topic.  This takes a great amount of discipline as I also have great amounts of other work to complete, and as the hours of work become greater.  To a certain extent I think that the school system has forced the student to learn knowledge that the student is not interested in,     and this causes for behavior issues that disrupt the rest of the class from advancing in our studies, and cause students to lose focus and determination in school.  At the same time teachers give students such a burden of brainless busy work that when the teacher has them in class the student has trouble focusing, and get behind in the class.

The reason why schools teach students this style of learning in order to succeed in academics is very valid.  If there is not work imposed on the students they conclude that the student will not learn independently.  As a society, the majority of the youth population would not choose to sit through certain classes, or have the desire to grasp topics.  As a nation we value the importance of education for many reasons.  Having an educated population helps our economy, makes our nation more productive, keeps crime and poverty to a minimum, and also provides opportunity to be successful.

One idea that I have had is what would happen if we let students study in certain fields of study more heavily?  To be honest I am more excited to learn in certain classes.  One conversation my study hall had involved three categories. First being the information we know, second being the information we do not know, and thirdly the information we know that we do not know.  This conversation we had recently caused me to be more appreciative of the classes where I am not so thrilled about learning.  We had a discussion about broadening the category of the things that we know we do not know.  We discussed how the smaller this is "the more scary of a person we are."  Although in whatever field of study we pursue we may not ever need some of our imposed knowledge, it makes us less ignorant of other studies that we now know we do not know.

In conclusion, I believe that the school system does a fairly good job of educating.  The current solution to these problems is by offering these advanced courses for the student who is excited to take on challenges, and deepen their knowledge.

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