Challenges in the Current US Education System
Education experts have been voluminously telling us many things that are not going right as far as the US education system is concerned. And we are seeing the signs now.
A recent survey by Morning Consult showed that only 60% of baby boomers held their trust in the public education system, and only 43% of Gen Zs parked trust in it. Now the Gen Zs are asking ‘Should I Go to College?’
Is this report trying to convey something to us? Should we not do anything about this trend of falling trust in the education system?
It looks as if the people feel let down by the US education system. The pandemic had its toll, but there are also manufactured issues that plague the American public education system.
This year 2022, saw a quake in the education world. It broke some things while it created opportunities for other things like education technology to facilitate newer instructional styles. We learned during the pandemic that education is inequitable due to geographic differences and resourcefulness.
At the beginning of 2022, it was a school and educators’ priority to recover from the loss of time and curriculum gaps that occurred during the pandemic.
We saw a rising distrust among parents for the school curriculum and educators’ teaching styles. This year, there was also a significant hue and cry about teachers’ shortage in schools and teachers leaving the profession. In addition, there were cases of gun violence in schools. Phew! 2022 was not easy!
Experts’ view on the Challenges to Education System
We asked some exceptional industry experts to give us a penny for their thoughts on what is scuttling the current US education system.
Erin Dowd, a curriculum development consultant and global education specialist, was on point when she discussed the issues with the education system:
I think there are two main challenges to education, and these are mostly global. The first one is ‘access’. Access encapsulates getting kids to schools, quality teachers, training teachers. It also includes having a quality curriculum, funding, and resources.
The second challenge is policies and government. As a former educator, this issue was always in my way. It was bothersome when people made decisions about education who are not educators. These decision-makers have no idea about what is going on in schools, rather, have an agenda to pursue.
It was bothersome when people made decisions about education who are not educators. These decision-makers have no idea about what is going on in schools, rather, have an agenda to pursue.-Erin Dowd
I believe that the education policies of a country reflect a lot about the country. So before any decision is made, everyone should take a step back and ask themselves, ‘what is the purpose of education?’ The answer to this question can show the right behavior and reflect through our policies.
Erin’s concern about access is not just an American problem but a global issue. Access to schools, quality teachers, quality curriculum, and technology is a privilege and a fundamental right of every child on this planet.
But students also need parental involvement and guidance when it comes to making decisions about learning and education. This concern was highlighted by Brian South, Educational coach and author of ‘Demystifying College Admission.’
There is a lack of strong guidance and mentorship for students to help them flourish. If students do not get this support from their parents, they often turn to their peers who are only as good as them. This phenomenon can lead them to fall victim to a life of drugs or crime. Students need mentorship and appropriate teacher or parental guidance to help them do good in their lives.
Students need mentorship and appropriate teacher or parental guidance to help them do good in their lives.-Brian South
Questioning the System’s efficiency?
There have been education specialists talking about various ways in which our schools sabotage a student’s creativity.
One of those education experts was Sir Ken Robinson, whose idea of manufacturing of learning process was echoed by Lucas Kavlie, VP of academic engagement and compliance accreditation at Western Governors University.
Sir Robinson was right to say that our school system is manufacturing students into a particular type of individuals, and our American education system is following that. It has coded this idea in the form of laws and regulations.
It has become so ingrained into our society that it has become difficult to go away from it. As a society, we ought to understand that every student has different learning needs, and one standard teaching method will not work for all students. Personalization of learning is essential, as we realize that even twins might need to be educated in different ways.
Personalization of learning is essential, as we realize that even twins might need to be educated in different ways.-Lucas Kavlie
Working on Solutions is the only Solution
Discovering an issue is the first step in working on a solution.
Student counselors can help and guide school students on treading the path that is right for them. In addition, appropriate guidance from parents, teachers, and professional counselors can help prevent students from falling prey to the world of drugs and crime.
Governments, parents, and schools can work together to decide what curriculum is best for students. Curriculum designers are experts and should be able to justify to parents why teaching students a particular subject is essential.
With technology, students can now learn in newer and better ways. In addition, technology has increased student engagement and helps students learn in ways that best serve their cognitive understanding.
The sooner we listen to experts and make better decisions to improve the education system, the better our society will be.