Significant Changes in Education Over the Years
There have been many changes in education over the last few decades that have a huge impact on the moral and morals of students and teachers and how well children are prepared to enter the adult world they will live in after graduation.
When I was younger and in school, teachers were allowed to paddle students. They were allowed to discipline them and to kick them out of class if they did not behave. Students were held accountable for their actions, as were their parents. Teachers did not have to spend their day on discipline, because most kids knew they could not get away with misbehaving.
Now many teachers have absolutely no control over the classroom. They cannot discipline students at all. Granted, I am torn about the paddling issue. I think some teachers went overboard and it became abuse. However, most of them used it to keep things under control. There were many who did not even have to paddle, just because the kids knew it could happen. Teachers now spend the majority of their day on discipline, which takes away from educating students. I've observed classrooms where the kids are extremely ill-mannered and lack discipline. When my oldest son was in second grade, the kids in his class threw shoes, books, and whatever else they could throw. The teacher would write them up, but then their parents would come in and yell at the teacher. The principal did not back the teacher up because he knew that there was no recourse when parents are like this. So, the teacher spent her day trying to control the unruly kids who she would rather send home. My son did not learn a thing, and hated going to school. If those kids had been paddled or sent home, they might have behaved in class. Then at least the teacher could have focused on the students who wanted to learn.
Another thing that has changed since I was in school is that when I was there, teachers were held to higher standards than the rest of society. They could not live immoral lives and teach. They could not be seen drunk in public, or have extra marital affairs that went public. Now teachers can do just about anything they please and still teach. This leaves little room for respect. A student will not have much respect for a teacher he sees drunk in public, or knows cheated on his or her spouse. Modeling is so important. Teachers have to be good role models for students to respect and look up to them.
As for academic changes, those are many. The biggest change is due to the NCLB act. Schools now focus on testing over teaching. The focus is on passing the tests, not on preparing the children for their future. The powers-that-be also forget that everyone cannot or will not become a rocket scientist. Schools are not teaching basic life skills anymore. They are teaching the average student subjects that will not benefit them in life. Not everyone will learn algebra, and it is pointless to expect them to. Not everyone will use it in life. I did not have to take it in school and have never used it in life, even when I owned my own bookkeeping business. All the while, kids now graduate unable to perform basic tasks.
I honestly do not know of any positive changes since I was in school. When I graduated high school, kids left school able to count change, balance a checkbook, spell, read, write and perform life skill tasks. Kids were ready to go on to college, or jump into adult life. They were not so lost that they couldn't function in life. Kids in society today struggle with the most basic of life skills.
I think that schools need to find a way to discipline students or send them home, so that the teachers can focus on those who want to learn. I also think that education needs to get back to basics. Schools need to focus on teaching kids the skills they need to live in the adult world. Getting an A on a standardized test will not help someone fill out a job application or keep a job once they are hired. It is time to get back to basics and leave the higher learning to colleges and Universities.
About Kim Miller
I am a single mom of two sons, 15 and 18 years old. I also have an 8 month old grandson. I recently earned my BA in Elementary Education and am working toward an MA in Elementary Education. I love working with children and watching them learn.