Alternative Learning: Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

In a world with so many options, it is hard to imagine just one definitive path that is arranged without the input of those involved. As Americans, we are afforded the luxury to express ourselves through a multitude of outlets. This way of living is bred from the fact that everyone is unique and there are very few ready-made options that will have the same effect on the majority of people. Education is evolving at a rapid pace; people have the option to learn online, in a classroom, home school, or by learning abroad. Adults can choose what best fits their preferences, however, children are not afforded the same privilege. I believe children should have a voice when it come to their education; if they are involved from the beginning, then I feel they will be more likely to follow through with a more disciplined and focused approach to learning and they will retain more of what is taught, they will also grow up to have more confidence, and the ability to make decisions and be an effective leader.
Passively receptive students will simply go with the flow of a normal school day while silently hoping for the bell to ring. After class, they, robotically, move on to the next subject simply to satisfy what is required of them to get through another school day. A simple and effective way to engage more students is to ask what they want to learn about, and then develop a curriculum geared toward their preference. This will empower them and give them the desire to be more actively involved in their learning process, rather than just following through with the motions, meanwhile retaining very little of what they have been taught. Lorie McNeill, a teacher from Greensboro, New Jersey found that giving her students a choice while assigning a reading project was a great motivator for them. During the prior 15 years of her teaching career, Ms. McNeill has routinely assigned Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” finally she opted for something different and opened the prospectus to allow students to select the book of their choice. In doing so, she found that students were more receptive to the assignment, and she also noticed an increase in their engagement levels. This supports the idea that students will be more attentive enthusiastic to learn a subject they have an interest in, because they will be more toward a subject they had a part in choosing for themselves as opposed to learning about something they possibly have no interest in learning more about.
Even the most difficult children may be reachable by this method. Consider the option of choice for something simple such as dinner for example. If you serve your child peas or broccoli with dinner, they will most likely find a way to do anything but actually ingest them by giving them to the family pet, hiding them in a plant, or trying to sneak them into a napkin for disposal. But if you ask your child to make a choice between peas or broccoli with their dinner, the chances of them actually eating them...

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