An Education System In Dire Need Of Change.

5430 words - 22 pages

IntroductionEach year within the United States, many children attend schools in which they are not learning. In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education confirmed this belief by presenting a report entitled "A Nation at Risk" (cited in Jorgensen & Hoffmann). Within this report, the commission cited data indicating that American children as a whole were not receiving a quality education. Their findings identified problems with student literacy and students' ability to draw inferences from written text (NatAtRisk, 1983). They also noted that the number of remedial math classes in four-year colleges had increased (NatAtRisk, 1983). In addition, "Scores consistently declined in verbal, mathematics, physics, and English subjects as measured by the College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT)" (NatAtRisk, 1983). One reaction to "A Nation at Risk" was The No Child Left Behind Act; with it, American became painfully aware that their public education system needed to be overhauled. Since then, many new educational formats have been explored; among them is our model for the Montana Academy system.The Montana Academies will be a series of small schools, located in scenic western Montana. The mission of the academy (Appendix A) will be to administer dynamic educational experiences that will prepare all students for life. It will be founded on the belief that the purpose of education is to develop life-long learners who can participate in society in a thoughtful, active manner. The Montana Academy is based on the philosophy that, in order to reach their full potential, learners must be allowed to explore multiple avenues of intellect and apply their acquired knowledge to experiences and events that have been infused with critical elements of a carefully engineered core curriculum. The curriculum will reflect the Academy's understanding of the relationships between methods of instruction and knowledge retention. The learning pyramid developed by National Training Laboratories in Bethel Maine (Figure 1) will be used as a guide in developing courses that are holistic and meaningful, and provide a platform for students to retain what they have learned. Overall, the goal of the Academy will be to create educational opportunities that will continually engage students at the highest levels of understanding. The Montana Academy model will be truly unique compared to many schools that currently exist today.Figure 1Education of TodayToday, the American system of education clings to traditions of years past. Schools still operate within an agrarian calendar in an age when fewer than two percent of Americans are farmers (Cañizares, n.d.). In essence, schools provide a seven-hour daycare option for working parents. Traditional school management and instruction is top-down with much thought about the convenience of the administration and instructors rather than on the benefit of the student. The current American system educates students with...

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