I believe the goals within the education field that will be the most important for the future of education is advancing students’ skills in problem solving strategies, improving student achievement across all sub-groups, teaching of diversity and tolerance to students, and preparing students to be effective in their future occupations. Students in America need to be taught problem solving abilities that can be used not only in the classroom but also in everyday life.
Critical to a student's success in general education is his or her ability to problem solve. It is essential that we teach students to be adept at problem solving. An increased emphasis on teaching critical thinking and problem solving has been central to restructuring school curriculum reform because such skills provide the basis for all learning. Indeed the ability to retrieve and process information and, in turn, propose a solution to a discernible problem represents a skill that will significantly improve a student's competence and independence.
Problem solving involves using available information to identify and design solutions to problems. Unfortunately, many people lack the skills to solve problems in their lives. I know the dreaded NCLB comes to mind when I say improving achievements across subgroups, but it goes further than AYP and NCLB, it is about making sure that individuals in every sub-group is receiving the best education. Before NCLB, special education students had a tendency not to count in many districts.
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Teachers were not given appropriate curriculum and teachers were not held accountable for moving students toward grade level standards. After NCLB, these students count and now the districts have to make sure that the students have access to curriculum and are making progress. I believe that diversity and tolerance needs to be taught in the classroom. America has been a "melting pot" and with occurrences of terrorism, ELL instruction, nationalities are targeted and discriminated against even in the classroom.
Sexual orientation is now a reason for suicide in some young individuals minds. Bullying has become a nightly news report. It appears that in many households, there is still a stigma attached to these individuals. With the economy in the dumps, these individuals are increasing become the scapegoats for everything that is wrong. Morals cannot be taught in a classroom but acceptance can be through exercises in tolerance. There is an expression I have heard," Not everyone can be a brain surgeon".
Vocational teaching needs to become a hoice again for those young students that are not college bound. In the UK, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the exam taken between the ages of 14-16 and depending upon the grades determines if higher education is pursued or an internship / vocational training. These types of exams need to be introduced into the U. S. in some form. By allowing students to have an avenue other than college it may cut down on high school dropouts because they know that they are acquiring a marketable trade while in school.
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