The US education system is not what it once was. In 2006 the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment ranked the US 35 of 57 in Maths, 29 of 57 in science, scoring way behind other developed countries. In Europe, the education system tends to nurture students’ abilities and interests, working them towards careers or universities. Education in the US is no longer about preparing children for their future; it is about preparing them for mediocrity. Federal programs like No Child Left Behind led to misrepresentation of the educational standards of society at hand, which distracts from the issue. It doesn’t attempt to reform the system but focuses on memorization through standardized testing.
The education programs in the US spend too much money training teachers to coach instead of teaching. As a result, our educators are trained to perpetuate the acceptable amount of knowledge rather than enlighten children with critical thinking. No longer are youth taught to question, revise, and better their predecessors, but to attain the bare minimum required by outdated modes of thinking; students miss out on broader learning understanding of the world and a drive to better the evolution of society. Students who are not taught to question their learning will never question the words, the implications, or the environment.
Today’s problems, the oil crisis, global warming, limited resources, etc., will affect not our lives but the lives of our children, our grandchildren. Still, it is up to us to prepare our progeny to solve problems that our political and economic leaders cannot even manage to discuss civilly. It is up to our generation, but the task of preparing young people to think critically falls mainly into the hands of teachers. A few lucky students classified as “gifted” or who opt to take AP classes receive a brand of teaching that prepares them for life, for their futures, for real human interaction. Still, most students in America are wasting their time on busywork, memorization, and curriculum based on state or nation-wide standardized testing.
By becoming an education major, students develop the skills they need to change thinking, whether in the classroom or the curriculum. The knowledge and education major can be applied specifically to the education system and political, journalistic, or psychological fields. Although becoming an education major won’t solve all the system’s problems, creating awareness is the first step in correcting the inconsistencies in the education system, the inconsistencies in the thinking of the masses.
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Widespread change has to begin somewhere; educators have the gift of circumstance. Receptive students can absorb and expand upon, or if need be, overturn their teachers’ thinking. Still, without a broad, aware learning and thinking process, critical thinking becomes more difficult to nurture. My goal as an education major is to increase awareness and encourage students to question the norms of society instead of blindly accepting them.
You want to advance your career and give yourself more opportunities, or you’re a working adult who wants more education but can’t afford to attend a traditional college campus. Traditional colleges remain popular, but millions of Americans just like you are turning to online education. Why? Earning your degree online is convenient, and many Internet education programs offer the same quality education as classroom programs.
Internet education programs are no longer thought of as being low quality. In fact, prestigious Ivy League universities, including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, now offer online courses that can count towards a degree. A recent report by the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C), a non-profit group supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, reveals the tremendous growth in Internet education. Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States, 2008 answers some important questions about the growth and quality of Internet education programs. The report includes survey results from more than 2,500 colleges and universities.
Of all the majors a college or university student could make, education would be the most important. I have chosen education because all teachers need an education degree. Teachers of all subjects, such as Biology teachers, German teachers, and Psychology teachers, have had an education major. Education is the foundation of our society. Without well-educated workers and leaders, we would lose that foundation. How would we function? We rely on our teachers to inspire us, give us wings, and give us the power to give others wings. Without them, we wouldn’t have as much guidance to help us reach our goals in life.
Everyone needs education to have a career. But, to choose which career to go for, we often choose a career related to our favorite school subject. Many students have an idea of what to do after high school, but some still choose one in college, thanks to the help of their professors. Teachers and professors help us figure out what we would like to do later in life, and they give us the essentials to do it.
It would be great for a person to know they want to be a doctor, but even better if they had the education to do it. The teacher is the backbone of any educated doctor, lawyer, dentist, and business executive. Who needs a lawyer to stand in a courtroom in a suit? He wouldn’t be much use without understanding one’s constitutional rights. Same with a doctor not knowing what a healthy heart sounds like through his stethoscope. Teachers have taught us to spread our wings once we receive a high school diploma. Our college graduation is when we take flight.
But, to give others wings and help them fly, we must become a teacher ourselves. Future generations will need teachers to educate the new employers and employees. What is a doctor without a biology teacher? What is a lawyer without an American government teacher? Their teachers and professors played a critical role in their success. We could play an important role in our society by educating future generations to fill their part in society. All jobs and professions need to start with our educators.
Many people would probably respond to this question with medicine, science, or a medical-related major because doctors can heal people, and the human race couldn’t flourish as well without pharmacists, nurses, or surgeons. But, without teachers to instruct the generation of tomorrow to do their job, we wouldn’t be able to have pharmacists, nurses, or surgeons. Of all the majors that would come to your mind when answering this question, remember, a major is taken at a college or university where professors are why someone can even take a major. By inspiring us when we’re young, teachers can help us achieve our goals and help us give others the power to follow their hearts to reach and achieve their dreams.