Failures in the American Education System
Changes such as shifting the majority of the power and influence away from the department to the teachers, are important to the educational system. Individualism is a key factor in achieving educational success. The American Educational System (AES) needs to not only address each individual student and their needs, but also each teacher and how they are approaching their subject matter. The AES also needs to fix the problems that the No Child Left Behind Grant (NCLBG) and standardized testing have created. Also, the AES needs to modernize the educational system and create a learning environment the enables rather than hinders new generation learners. ...view middle of the document...
It is in this article that he further explains the effect standardized testing has had on the AES. In a study he conducted he found that the typical student has a 90% capacity for creativity and participation within the classroom. This “desire to learn” as Robinson puts it, is something that is priceless when it comes to the success of an educational system. Unfortunately, our current educational system kills this irreplaceable desire.
The way we are schooling our children today is virtually the same system we were using one hundred years ago. With the boom of the industrial revolution, the national government wanted to create an “educated” work force. Unfortunately, the industrial revolution needed construction workers and laborers, not creative and divergent thinkers. This way of teaching, although adapted, is still what the AES uses today. The system groups students primarily on age, and makes it difficult for those who are smarter than those who were born at a similar time to reach their full potential (2013).
Standardized testing, as Ken Robinson puts it, is one perspective on intellect and academics that the bureaucracy of the AES has created. It is not an ideal form of intellect or understanding, rather it is a biased and unrealistic view on intellect. In the real world, most problems do not come with multiple choice, and one of the main problems with the AES is that our teachers are training test-takers, not real life thinkers. Ken Robinson believes that by creating a learning environment that encourages creative thinking, the AES can counter this “test-taking” mentality.
A main argument to teaching for creativity rather than for standards is that creativity is more difficult to grade. “If you can’t count it, it doesn’t count,” says Robinson recalling an argument he once had. Robinson believes this is untrue due to the unsuccessful rates the AES is experiencing. Robinson believes there is a way to bring creative teaching styles and creative learning environments into the classroom. And even though it may be more difficult, it is necessary (Azzam, 2009).
There has been one main adaptation the AES has seen since the dawn of the industrial revolution, has been the NCLBG. Although the purpose of this nationwide grant was to make sure every child received an adequate education, it either missed or overshot its mark depending on who you ask. Ken Robinson holds the belief that the NCLBG was counter intuitive. Rather than creating an educational system in which every child receives an education, it focused too much on adequacy and meeting standards to be considered successful. It left those children who meet the standards little to no followup, causing them to not reach their full potential (Slon, 2013).
Robinson believes that in order to bring the success rates of the AES up to the standards Americans know it can reach, we need to encourage creative thinking. The way AES worked one hundred years ago, was successful due to the cultural...