What did you learn in school today, Johnny? Nothing! Do you have any homework? No! But, Sally said she has homework. How is it Sally has homework and you do not and both of you are in the same class? Oh, yea! I’ll do it later.
are excited about learning. Students do not feel that they are engaged in what is of interest or importance to them. They feel that they are forced to “dumb down” to keep pace with the archaic approaches of the past that many teachers use in their methods of instruction.
There is a huge difference in the information to which students are exposed today compared with students of twenty-five or fifteen years ago. Children are growing up in a rapidly changing multimedia environment. Changes that children see in the short span of a year are more than what their parents may have seen in a generation. It is the paradox of parents and children living in the same age but in different worlds. As such, children do not understand their parents and parents unable to understand their children are caught in what I call the 21st century enigma of family relationship.
On the compelling force of this difficult relationship, are teaching and learning approaches that do not fit the needs of today’s students. Teaching is often done in a way that reflects classrooms of the nineteen eighties and earlier. A look at the details of school curricula shows very little change in the core material that students are expected to learn. For example, the study of Medieval Times is a mainstay in the social science curriculum for Grade 4 students. I am not certain of the importance of this study to current world issues; to the things that affect children today.
There is enough awareness among teachers of the necessity to change their practice to fit the changing needs of present-day students and to prepare lessons with the varied styles by which students learn in mind. It is fundamentally wrong to teach a child in a style other than that by which he or she learns. To do so teaching malpractice, pure and simple.
Students will continue to see schools as dull until educators come to the point of recognizing that adjustments must be made to support students in their world. It is a hard job that becons dedicated educators. Others must seek employment elsewhere.