The biggest issue I encounter as a teacher in general education (high school), that is both a global and personal in scope is, "What is the relevance of the curriculum being taught as it applies directly to each student?" A large percentage of students are not motivated to apply themselves to learning subject matter because it seems to have no meaning for them: Trigonometry, World History, Biology. Teaching to the unmotivated student is a misadventure with negative, far-reaching societal impact. Reflecting upon this issue I went to Dictionary. COM to look up the word "Education" as presented by some of its primary sources
These definitions basically state that education should result in the student obtaining knowledge or a skill. If our schools were to reacquaint themselves with this basic definition, they might find the answer to working with the unmotivated students and develop curriculum that is more relevant and meaningful.
Presently we are incorporating the use of
state of the art distance learning. The technology has changed, but one
basic tenet remains: It is the teacher who directs
and facilitates the learning environment. A
good teacher can use a Hornbook and promote learning. A bad teacher, with
all the resources of the Internet available, is still a bad teacher.
Formal education has been constantly undergoing a process of innovation and experimentation. There are examples of this throughout its history. In 1825 Robert Owen and William MaClure established an experiment in cooperative living which incorporated a innovative system of education developed by Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi.
I feel that the present educational environment is open to and anxious to embrace the new technology associated with distance learning in order to make another effort at improving itself.
(#4) What do you feel are the "driving forces" for change in education/training today and how it is delivered? What personal examples can you share?
The public school system is overburdened by (to name a few) :
Because of this gloomy
picture, many families are seeking an alternative to the standard public
school program. I teach in an Independent Study/Alternative Education
public school program. I have many excellent students who did poorly in
regular public school and are now performing on a superior level in
Independent Study. Almost all of these students fled the hostile
environment of the public school. The ERIC article, "Trends and Issues" revised