The Purpose of School

This opening line really caught my attention when I watched the TED talk Education is Broken, what teacher would say high school stinks?  After watching it I was amazed.  In High School I was never very good at, or lets face it very interested in,  math and science.  I never saw any relevance in it for me.  I knew I wanted to be an Elementary School teacher so why would I ever need to know High School math and science? I got my basic math and science done in my Elementary years.  Teachers never did tell me why I would ever need this information other than it is something that would be on the test and possibly the SOL.  Well I studied it because I had to but I still never saw the relevance to my life.

The reason I love this video so much is because Chris Lehmann explains why these subjects are relevant.  He makes connections between the subjects like I never really saw before, saying that school really isn’t so boring and awful if students can see how this knowledge connects to them, how will it help them.  Education is all about critical thinking, it should open your eyes to new experiences.  He also talks about how school should matter. The purpose of school is to learn how to live.  It should be learning about who you are, teaching them to be citizens.  We should not teach students to be workers but citizens.

I thought this idea was wonderful because if a teacher had done this for me when I was in High School I think I would have done better, been more interested.  As teachers it is our job to help our students make these connections. A student should not feel like what they are studying is pointless and has no meaning to them. The answer to “why am I learning this” should never be “because it will be on the test” or “because it will be on the SOL” or “because I have to teach this to you.  Instead schools should  focus on the interests of the students and then go from there.  I understand that this may make things a little more difficult for the educational system, but maybe that is good if it will make our students learn better.

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