Would you like it if someone else decided what coffee you drink? I’m guessing, not. So, when it comes to education, why don’t learners have a voice?
Assessment of an Ideal Education System always happens from the perspective of teachers or education theorists and experts. These authorities supposedly have opinions and ideas to make education progressive and yield the ideal results. But amidst all that, nobody has ever felt it necessary to consider what the learners might want.
Learners are the recipients of education and whom the system of education affects the most. Then isn’t it fair to wonder what the ideal education system would be from a learner’s POV?
I believe we have all been learners at one point in our lives. We’ve all seen education from the receiving spectrum. Therefore, a lot of us might have felt that certain things should have been different. The experiential divide and age gap between educators and learners prove beneficial to the education system. But what was supposed to be a fruitful way of passing knowledge has, over the years, transformed into being authoritative.
Students have developed a lot of behavior and mental phobias that don’t speak highly about the credibility of the current system. Despite it all, students appreciate a lot of the current ins and outs of the system. So, what should the ideal education system for a student be like then? The best way to answer this question is by diving into what the students are actually expressing all over the internet.
So here are opinions straight from the minds of the current and former students and our take on them.
Classes Based on Abilities for Ideal Education
“Let’s put the kids that are great at math in a challenging math class. If the same students are having problems with their second language, let us assign them to an easier language class. This is the best way to get the most out of every student and ensure that no one gets left behind.” –Mads Olsen, 18, Former Intern at the Danish Parliament
According to Ms. Olsen, classes need a division depending on the skills a student possesses. A lot of students find it extremely difficult to gel together with a group or a class that shares different interests and abilities than them.
If we plant two seeds of completely different environmental needs, it’s impossible for both of them to bloom. Every learner’s mind is different from the other—their needs to breed their skills differ. Students with similar abilities will stand a chance to improve their skills in a group setting. It gives them an opportunity to exhibit what they know best. This not only boosts their confidence but also encourages them to learn from the others around them.
There is a possibility that similar ability classes might feel like an inhibitor for the overall high school learning of a student. However, such a system may actually benefit learners. Apart from teaching the basics, students can choose their preferred ability classes. These ability classes need to have a fifty percent weightage in the overall result.
The ultimate goal for a majority of the students who graduate high school is to land into the college of their choice. And for the said college, these grade points are extremely crucial. If every student competes with similarly skilled students, they’ll have a higher chance to score based on their full potential.
Ideal Education with Revolutionary Changes
“Imagine a school that gives dance, theatre, sports, and debating equal time as academics—where you are taught getting good grades is neither necessary nor sufficient in life. A school whose vision is to let the child’s imagination run wild without a universal right or wrong.” –Sarthak Gulati, Central Banker, Thinker
Nobody can refute the fact that the current education system has become extremely conventional. Years of patterns have been instilled in the minds of the educators, who back away from any changes in the system. This has led to the creation of a monotony and a rigid structure that dictates what is right and wrong.
Our education system forces young minds into a mold prepared multiple decades ago, without offering any flexibility. This has led to a generation of students who are so accustomed to following a prototyped path, that straying from it fears them.
Ideal Education for today’s day and time perhaps requires breaking these molds. It is a time to realize that the orthodox patterns haven’t managed to benefit a vast majority of young minds. The current system has failed to achieve what it set out to. A breakthrough and major system reboot feels like the need of the hour.
Evaluation Methods need a Progressive Change
“NO FORCED HOMEWORK. After the whole week, a student’s work is to be evaluated, but not with high or low marks. Instead with real options on what they should do for improvement in their thinking process and how to do that.”- Jan Olejek, Student (via brilliant.org)
The prevalent method of evaluation in the current education system has always been a point of contention. The rigorous examinations, grading systems, and rankings are a psychological nightmare for most learners. This evaluation system has only been promoting high IQ excellence since time immemorial.
Aptitude and other kinds of intelligence have been a very limited part of the entire marking process. This needs to change. It is important to encourage learners to realize that even if they do not excel in academics, it’s okay. There are other facets where they might be good at. They, therefore, need evaluation on those facets, for an honest and true grading system to prevail.
This change will not only support learners that have individual yet unique talents. Something that a lot of students currently aren’t able to do is give exams with confidence. This is so because they lack the motivation to work hard for an examination on subjects that they don’t like.
This phenomenon has come up in various education experts’ policies, that it is high time that the evaluation methods are changed. If nothing, it will help to streamline students based on their skills at an early age and help them understand their true potential.
Students have developed their own opinions and ideas on how they wish to be taught. Policymakers can see these opinions like customer feedback on a product. Ideally, a brand would take these into account when improving or creating products. Like product managers, policymakers must include student opinions when designing an education law. An ideal education system, therefore, requires a collaborative effort between policymakers, educators, and the end-user—learners.