Needing a Better Way to Educate our Children
I'm going to begin with startling statistics that should make educators in both India and the United States hide their collective heads in shame. A highly respected organization named Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) collects test results from 15 year olds in 73 countries and the results are published every three years, (last was 2012).
The top ten nations in Math, Science and Reading scores were: Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Macao, Japan, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The United States of America used to be #1, now its #20 in Reading, #23 in Science, and #30 in Math. To make it even worse, America, over the last decade, has been on a continual decline, and it doesn't seem to me that things are going to improve soon.
India came in next to last in all 3 categories. Now what can we do to insure our nations educational systems improve? We need to change what we've been doing incorrectly in order to increase our future economic standing in the world, and provide a better life for our citizens.
So what is the answer? How do we increase the scores of our children against the other children of the world? To start with, we need to provide the proper environment for children to learn:
1) School administrators must realize our children eventually will be competing in a global economy.
2) Our children must be prepared to think critically and creatively.
3) They must be taught how to manage and evaluate massive amounts of information.
4) They have to learn how to solve complex problems.
5) They must learn how to communicate well.
6) There must be no more than 25 students in each class to enable personalized learning.
7) All students need strong foundations in Reading, Math and Science.
8) Children must feel safe in class and traveling to and from school.
9) Children must be healthy and well fed to be alert enough to learn.
10) They should be ready to learn and feel connected to their classmates and school.
11) They need to be taught by qualified adults who challenge and discipline them properly.
12) The schools must create an overall balanced approach to learning and community engagement.
13) They must be challenged academically and be prepared for success in college.
14) They must be prepared for employment and possible further study.
15) All students, no matter what level of skill, should not have to wait for the slowest in class to catch up.
16) Schools should adopt the case-study teaching process that is used at Harvard University. Turn the class into a simulated business; thereby the whole class gets involved working on problems and opportunities. It's a great way to learn about how companies work.
17) Start class at age 3 or 4. Pre-school is very effective.
18) The great Marshmallow test. (One of my previous Blogs), talks about teaching restraint to 4 year olds, and how it affects their lives 40 years later.
19) Arrange after school programs for children who are anxious to continue learning.
20) India is improving. Literacy rates keep advancing, (as of today, it's over 75%), and I wouldn't be surprised if India soon will start moving up the list of nations on the scale of academic test results.
It's imperative that more parental involvement be required in order to improve the quality of education. Children are gradually losing their writing and reading ability because almost all they write and read are from texts and social media platforms. The same thing is also true with all the rap music, video and computer games that, in my humble opinion, is just wasting their time from educational pursuits. I see plenty of commercials on TV showing 30 and 40 year old males with their ball cap on backwards, sitting on a sofa playing video games. Talk about a colossal waste of time.
When I was young, it was exciting to be praised as a good student and to get listed on the Honor Roll.
I would love to hear from you and your thoughts concerning the educational situation in India and what can be done to improve it. I feel the only way to improve most situations, is to gather the best minds and discuss utilizing the best solutions.
Thank you for your time reading this Blog,
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