Universal Issues In Education Essay

1315 words - 6 pages

Universal Issues in Education

Many universal issues in education are a major concern for our country today. The principles defining education, how children are raised, the grave impact of technology, and the way minorities are treated and perceive themselves are all issues for us to be alerted about.

Teaching and learning have been an important issue since human existed in this world. What is "teaching and learning?" According to the Oxford dictionary, "teaching" is the process to cause somebody to know or to be able to do something, and "learning" is the practice to gain knowledge and skill. In Paul Goodman' s opinion, the schools are only a therapeutic halfway house for young kids. ...view middle of the document...

During the adolescent stage of life, kids demand attention although they are very self-conscious at the same time. However, as we grow up, we must always remember to respect and be kind to all that we encounter in our existence (Coles).

Even technology has its bad side, especially in the classroom environment. Too often, teachers are becoming dependent on them to do their teachings, which frees up their own time and please the students as well. However, this allows students to become dependent on technology to replace the need to learn such basic skills as grammar and simple math. Programs like Microsoft Word have "allow me" programs, as David Gelernter puts it, inhibit their mental abilities by not forcing them to think and learn from their mistakes. He also found that hypermedia takes away from an understanding of orderly unfolding of a plot or logical argument by permitting students to jump quickly from one subject/topic to the next with no linear start-to-finish order. Thus, a student learning about World War II can quickly jump from how it began to how the first submarines were built and never gain a full understanding of the events, themselves. Clifford Stoll also agrees on our dependency of computers. It creates a world where rigid thinking is cast, inventiveness snubbed, and curiosity thwarted. Students often get caught up in trying to learn all the new technology in exchange for the necessary, yet basic skills needed to properly function in society. Both men, however, are still quick to note that technology still carries with it a great many benefits and opportunities, but only when properly used. They offer such suggestions as creating new software targeting childrens’ needs, restraining use for the leisure times, remembering the importance of one-on-one interaction with students in a smaller classroom setting, and better exams that develop writing and analytical thinking skills.

Another indicator of the condition of the American educational system comes from the analysis of other foreign school systems. The current international system that is setting the benchmark for success in education is the Japanese system. Japan has become a model in education for developing nations and the West. Many Japanese students are characterized as being workaholics. The social consensus states that the Japanese realize how important an education really is, so they set high standards for themselves. America tries to say that the Japanese are so incredibly intelligent because of the longer school hours everyday and the government expenditures awarded. Studies show that a high school student in Japan is equivalent to a college graduate in America. Inside the Japanese classroom, students learn through a lot of group work and teacher/student interaction. The teachers pay close attention to every student, supporting them 100%. The Japanese educational system receives an even distribution of resources; so all teachers are paid very well. Moms play a...

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