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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Challenges in Education: A Student's-Eye View

.As many teachers know, the national discussion on education is overcrowded with opinions on teacher training, salaries, tenure, and unions -- with occasional detours through iPads, textbooks, and national policy. In fact, it seems that we listen to every interested party except the one for whom education exists in the first place: students. We've worked one-on-one with hundreds of students over the last decade, and while they always start from "my teacher hates me" or "I'm just bad at this subject," a change in their own behaviors and beliefs consistently leads to a turnaround in grades. We've seen firsthand all the ways that students can impede their own academic performance. We've seen how parents and our culture at large unwittingly sabotage students' success. And then we've seen our society give teachers full responsibility for a process that is only partially in their hands. That has to stop. Teachers are essential and influential, guiding their students through new material, drawing out analysis and excitement about ideas. But even the best teacher is helpless against the student looking straight at the board but thinking about lunch. Students are, ultimately, the only party with the ability to truly transform the state of education. And as it turns out, what they have to say is quite telling

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