Tuesday, February 14, 2012

21st Century Learning

Right now, in high schools all around Michigan, teachers are trying out the method of a "flipped classroom," also known as 21st Century Learning. The goal is that students become more in charge of their learning and more independent. The thought is that there won't always be a teacher to guide them in the right direction so kids have to learn how to do things on their own. Basically, students are expected to teach themselves. Teachers will just "guide" them in the right direction. I know that this is a new concept for schools and teachers might not have approached it the right way yet, but in my honest opinion, I think it's a load ofexcuse my languagecrap. I don't mean to bash this new idea because I know a lot of teachers are under pressure to incorporate it, even if they don't want to, but I would have to say that most students my age agree with me when I say that it's really just not effective. Teachers are there to teach not to guide. That's why they are called teachers and not guiders. My math class is now 21st Century Learning based and it has been really challenging. We do our homework in class and then when we come home from school, we are expected to watch video tutors online to teach us the lessons. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the teachers job? Why are we watching another teacher teach us how to do math at our houses while our teacher sits back while we do our homework at school? Math isn't usually a problem for me but I now have to work a lot harder to get good grades. I go in early to school many times before my math tests and have my old math teacher explain things to me because I need that teacher-student connection. I need to be able to ask questions when I'm confused and have things explained to me. That's what school should be like, and used to be like. In the words of a classmate, "Why fix something that isn't broken?" Why are schools trying to fix something that has been successful? And why isn't anyone asking us students how we feel about this new way of learning? Why don't we get a say? Teachers have always been the people who set students up for the future. They teach us now so we know how to do things later in life. It's too early for us to be expected to do things on our own already. If we are still in school, we expect to be taught by our teachers, not a computer. Maybe in the future this concept will be figured out and used correctly/effectively, but right now it's just made high school even more challenging and more stressful.

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