Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The State of Education Today

The State Of Education Today;

By; Chuck Thompson

I just recently finished reading a book by Donald Trump and David Kiyosaki entitled, “Why We Want You To Be Rich”. A section in the book, David talks about his father who was in charge of Education in Hawaii, and how corrupt the educational system is. The corruption that David goes on to explain was how his father had noticed that when he was a young man in high school, he noticed that a lot of his friends were dropping out of school left and right. When David's father, who was then the class president asked about the subject, he got the run around. Then one day he finally got the real answer.

A Shocking Truth;

The truth of why all his friends were all disappearing from school was a real shocker that changed David's father's life forever. The truth of the matter was that the school board had a deal with all the sugar plantations in the state to fail, yes I said FAIL, 20 percent of all the students before graduation no matter how well or poorly they were doing. The reason? The sugar plantations wanted to ensure that they had a steady supply of uneducated or under educated people to work the sugar fields. This way they could also keep the wages low for these workers since the chances of them getting better jobs wasn't very good.

What is also interesting in this book is the fact that a major theme for why this book was written is because of how poor our present day education system really is. David presents a diagram called, “The Cone of Learning”. This diagram has been known by Boards of Education throughout the US since the 1960's. Exactly how we learn and how we retain what we learn is well documented in this diagram. At the top of the cone and in this order is how our learning works best to worst.

After 2 weeks we tend to remember;

90% of what we say and do
1.) Doing the real thing
2.) Simulating the real experience
3.) Doing a dramatic presentation

70% of what we say;

4.) Giving a talk
5.) Participating in a discussion

50% of what we hear and see;

6.) Seeing it done on location
7.) Watching a demonstration
8.) Looking at an exhibit watching a demonstration
9.) watching a movie

30% of what we see;

10.) Looking at pictures

10% of what we read;

11.) Reading

As one can see, at the top of the list is doing the real thing. Art class is where children learn more in school as they are actually participating in a hands on experience. Now if you could combine art class with history, and you can, then you have a superior teaching tool than what is presently at hand in our school systems. Reading is at the very bottom of the list. To send a student home to read and then turn in a report on what they read is not at all conducive to education. A better model would be to send a student home with a manual on how to do something and give them the tools and goods to produce the end result, or to build a product and then to go home and write the manual on how the product was built. These are real skills that would serve us all much better in the future as well as the present for learning and doing.

This is real hands on and not passive learning. These are skills that will last a life time. The first objective for a child going to school is to learn to read. After that, the skills must then be applied and enforced in children. Once this is firmly established, then the schools should move on to conceptual skills of mathematics and the sciences.

Today we spend more money on education than just about any nation, yet the failure and drop out rate for our country is deplorable. Our SAT scores are some of the worst in the world. Is this by design like David's father experienced? My best guess? Yes it is. Should we do something about it? Absolutely. This is part one in a new series I am presenting and hope everyone enjoys it.

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