Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My personal view on America's Education

Everyday I come back to this topic, America's Education. There are so many things wrong with it; the classes, the content, the schools and the entire system.  When I lived in Germany I was happy to go to school everyday, I liked my teacher, classes, school and classmates. In comparison, I force myself to go to school here everyday, hoping to get into a good college one day. There are so many reasons why this is the situation I find myself in.  The most ridiculous fact about this is that I go to very good school (in comparison to other american public high school). So for two years, I have come up with reasons, facts and ideas about; why American Education is so bad and what we need to change.  After all don't you think it is ironic that America is so developed, yet their school system is bad. Education is important and it affects America's future. A few days ago, I was thinking about how I want to raise my children (in like 15 years) and then suddenly I thought: "Well, my child is going to receive far better Education than I am". One second later I noticed that not enough will have changed with America's Education, if we don't finally do something about it. I actually got worried.

What is wrong with America's Education?

1. Students learn how to pass tests instead of actually learning

All of my teachers prepare me how to score higher on ACT's, EOC's and SAT's. I NEVER truly learn ANYTHING. Learning is true and in depth understanding of a subject. In my accelerated, honors or AP classes, we rush through the material so we can "learn more". In Germany (my classes were at a higher level than AP is here) we went through a subject in depth, but also at a fast pace. There I had 14 different subjects (Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Math, German, English, French, History, Latin, Art, Music, P.E., Biology, Economy) every week. This gave me an amazingly well knowledge on so many subjects. Instead in America I don't learn anything about Latin, Geography and Music and I have a bad knowledge about the other 11 subjects. I go to school to LEARN, not to prepare for tests so I will score high on them and get into a good college.  School shouldn't JUST be about getting into college, it should be mainly be about learning.

2.  Our testing

So even though we are just preparing for these tests instead of learning, the SAT's are ridiculous. They only test students on our knowledge/skill on Reading/Writing/Math. This gives the students the message that only those subjects are important to learn. They may be the foundation of learning, but doesn't America want their students to know beyond the fundamentals?  Now what about CRCT's and EOC's, what is the purpose of those tests? And please don't tell me they just exist to see which students should be able to move unto the next grade!

3. Education should be something we should enjoy...or at least partially

Education and learning is fun and interesting, so why isn't school? Sure, tests are quite tiring and boring. Our world is full of interesting things that we should be learning about. I understand taking notes is important to be able to learn, but learning is beyond taking notes and studying. Learning is experiencing, experiencing what you learn and learning from your experience. Not once have I experienced anything in an american school. Everyday and all day long I sit in a classroom and take notes, listen to teachers or do worksheets. Learning is beyond that, learning is doing research and understanding a subject. In America's schools, students learn ABOUT a subject, but they don't truly UNDERSTAND it. I want to learn with my eyes and see historic sights and go to a science museum.     I want the future of America to be intelligent and experience with their own minds.

3. The Content 

We learn the entire history of our world in half a year....I don't think that is right. How I am supposed to deeply understand what and why everything happened on the thousands of years that our world has existed? You just don't. Instead you learn the most important events without the details. In an on-level class I would have totally understood this kind of learning. But this was an honors class and all we were taught were important dates, facts and sometimes a few details (I'm not exaggerating). I love history, I want to go deep into detail. But I find this problem with every class, in french class I learn french, but never am able to speak it fluently. What else would be the point of this class? Here's a little story to prove my point: I have only been learning french for a year, so I don't expect myself to speak french fluently of course. But I also couldn't imagine me speaking french fluently with another year of french. When I traveled to Germany and went to (my old) school for two days with my friends, one of the classes I was in was french. They have had french for 2 years and they speak perfectly fluent, I was amazed. They didn't even have an accent...and then there was me with my poor french speaking skills and an terrible american accent. I just really hate the way that everything I am taught is never into depth. Next school year I will be taking my first AP class and I am just absolutely hoping that we will go into depth with that class. Yet I still have a fear that we will be learning more in my AP class, but not into depth. Meaning we will know more events, facts, and dates, but we will not learn them with a good amount of detail.

What is America's Education lacking?

1.  Teachers

Yes, America's Schools are lacking teachers. We need more teachers at one school, so that classes will become smaller. Smaller classes will mean more personal attention, that will lead to more understanding, learning and improvement in grades.

2.  Productivity

The productivity in my classes is ridiculous. We do so many unnecessary things and projects from which I don't learn anything. On other days, we are just given busy work. Wasn't America supposed to be about working smarter instead of harder?


These opinions, facts, and ideas I have just pulled out of my personal experience. I do tend to compare the american education system with the german one. As I have experienced both and have seen great differences, I like the german education system far better. But I have met teachers, who have also experienced both education systems and tend to like the american one. So I can conclude that it may be different for every single person and what kind of education system they prefer.

Lots of love,

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