James Lampe
Topics of Discussion in Educational Studies
I read the article “Another Look at what young Children Should Be learning” because the title interested me, how do we decide what to teach and when? Who controls the standards for a school? Is it up to the teacher or is it something that the teachers were told to teach? In many cases I understand that it is a mixture of both the teachers influence and what the teacher is required to do. This makes me think back to my own experiences in school, being taught different thing and now I think, why was I taught that? This article came up with some very interesting points about education.

Some of these things that I read in the article I can directly relate to my own experience. In my high school and junior high we always had learning goals. They would come up with acronyms to help us remember them and make us do project involving them. In high school they were called the ESLERS, what it stood for escapes me now. I guess the school thought it was a good idea to make sure that every classroom had these learning goals posted on the wall. I thought that was always a little silly, but I can’t think of a better way of using them. It never really helped me personally but I could see how it could help others.

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Learning though interaction at a young age was also mentioned in the article, I have memories of this in use as well. In my elementary school we would always have these weird things that would be secretly teaching us something. Like our first grade teacher introduced us to algebra in a way. He drew this machine on the board, and then he said that he is putting a number in one side. Then he showed us what came out the other side, and we had to figure out what the machine did. He let us put in different numbers, and it was fun. If I become a teacher I hope that I could be that creative when it comes to teaching.

In the article they talk about how some methods of teaching could be good in the short run test scores, but not in the long run education of the student. They say that the amount of drills and practice in reading is a good way to teach reading, but could undermine the students’ disposition toward reading. This is an interesting paradox. The best way of teaching a child a skill could make him not want to use the skill. This should make us reconsider some teaching methods.

Also talked about in the article the way that younger children respond to a wider variety of teaching methods. You cannot use a single teaching method to a very diverse group of students without leaving some behind. I remember some of this in my early school experience, but not a lot. They would rather have you conform to a neat little group rather than be an individual. I also remember times in elementary school where I felt left behind in the teaching, but didn’t want to say anything. If I become a teacher I would want to address things like this, we can’t have it happening. How do you stop it though, no matter what you cannot make a perfect teaching system for every child? That is why there is so much controversy in education, what methods work best and whose test scores are higher. What is comes down to though is each teacher should do their personal best to educate and help their students.