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System of Education:Thoughts and An Article

Based on the assumption that American citizens will be able to reap the benefits of said education “privileges”, one would wonder why a disproportionate number of students are receiving a substandard education and an education gap is developing. Many questions come to mind when thinking about the issues of American education. For example: Why are some students given access to adequate resources while others aren't? Why is the American education system deemed or seen as being so unbalanced? Is education an equalizer? Do grades actually indicate knowledge or how much one learns and synthesizes the material? Should we value academic education more than experience-based education? Does language influence the way one thinks and therefore what one can achieve in an education system of a different culture? To what extent does culture, family, religion and society play a role in the definitions of the aforementioned ideas brought up in class (success, power, control, a “good” education)? etc.

I found an interesting article published in The New York Times today titled “Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/education/07teachers.html The article focuses on study habits, which clearly can have an effect on one’s education and the process by which one learns. Several individuals in class have brought up the fact that different people utilize different learning styles as well as teaching approaches and many have heard about “left brain” and “right brain” learners etc., and the article at hand in turn questions the truth behind such commonly known ideas associated with education and types of learners. It also embraces the point that “the brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time…regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious…and give the information more neural scaffolding,” (Benedict Carey) which I believe touches upon our discussion of the brain, learning and consciousness. Do you think that what is learned in education research should be utilized more immediately and brought to the table in our quest for educational reform as sufficient evidence for supporting a revised system? Standardized tests to cognitive scientists was thought to be a “powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment” how true is this statement based on your own experiences? Do tests help or change the way we think or approach future academic related coursework problems in various disciplines or even real life situations?

I am excited that so many questions, ideas and challenges will be faced and explored in this course. Hopefully the co-constructive inquiry implemented in the course will lead us to answers, extended knowledge, and varied viewpoints regardless of whether a common foundation exists.

 

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