How Coronavirus Highlights the Need for Educational Model Update
Coronavirus virus is still in big swing here at home. It’s demands that life change as we know it are exhausting and mentally draining. Informational shifts cause confusion and, in general, it seems quarantine fatigue is settling in. How Coronavirus Highlights the Need for Educational Model Update.
Most households are having to weigh the pros and cons of education as it is currently offered. Making decisions for their family as to if another model is better suited for their child. However, is the traditional educational model still relevant? Is it stretching to reach and accommodate different types of learners (that have just recently been validated as real and worthwhile) and providing consistent opportunities to learn for students?
My answer, in short is “no”. The non-adaptive model shattered upon the pressure that the pandemic laid on it. Brick by brick, the once sound institution was taken down and built back up by parents and dedicated teachers. Parents who were able to peek inside the classroom (on an unplanned day) and see where holes were in either comprehension, presentation or a little bit of both. Opportunity presented itself for parents to tailor lessons to their child and, for some, improved the result.
So, where was the misgiving? That initial crack that led to the load bearing wall collapse? It lies within the uncontrolled variables.
Students, now more than ever, are presented with several ways to arrive at a single conclusion. What was once warranted because everyone “had to just know how to do it” has been replaced by availability of a quick google formula search. The sound piece of advice that calculators would not be accessible at all times put the need for formulas and equations to be memorized and stored for later consumption. Only to turn out that those born in the 80’s and after had calculators on their person either via a good ol’ TI-83 or your iPhone. Thus making that part of education irrelevant.
It’s not that the children don’t need to glance over these things to get the basic understanding. But, the countless hours and pressure spent on these lessons are antiquated and, frankly, could be spent in a better capacity.
We have two very different learners in our household. My daughter loves working with her hands, reading and science. Her curious nature, while at times is overwhelming, leads me down a dreamer’s path where topics blend and everything connects. She currently is distance learning and loathes it. There is no connection and lessons are non dimensional. Leaving her, not only uninterested, but going through the motions during her day to day.
Learning whiplash with our son takes place daily. He is on the spectrum and sees facts and hard boxes everywhere. Math is his favorite. Being on a computer works for him largely due to the fact that he is able to process information the same way. He is also home schooled as opposed to following an education plan via distance learning.
So, with children going in and out of school and information presented the same way via either platform without context to learning style or strengths, we have students that are failing. Maybe not subjects but to reach potential.
The hard fact is that no one excels at every single thing. Yes, you have to learn things that may not interest you but the construct in which information is relayed is either helpful or hinders your ability to absorb the lesson. Covid has demanded that schools present things in a different way and it’s been largely up to parents to help out.
My hope lies that this virus has fractured the antiquated school ways enough that students are able to advocate for themselves. Teachers are able to teach the way they know best (visually, auditory, tactile and the list goes on).
Students are given the tools to identify their strengths and how they best garner information and classrooms can be formed from there.
Currently, students who are unable to learn from a basic model are left behind, losing confidence and leave their formative schooling years with assumptions about themselves that may not be true. Think of how different this world could be if every child was counted on as being a future successful adult. If teachers weren’t frustrated by having to teach a way that could be a weakness for them. If education could be slightly geared towards giving each child a chance as opposed to the sink or swim model that dampens some abilities and talents.
Children deserve to be listened to, be able to question and figure out their strengths and build on them instead of focusing on an all encompassing movement that can leave them to wonder about their talents until college.
We are better than what is going on here. Teachers deserve a lot of credit for dealing with the constructs built for them by people who aren’t in the classroom. Parents have been the real MVP’s of the pandemic by showing up for their kids and advocating. Teaching them the best way regardless of curriculum instruction. Is it common core math? Or, are we carrying the one? Parents assessed their child, made the decision on which to choose and moved forward.
Children, our future, are looking at this moment in time with confusion (aren’t we all) and we are staying silent about the downfalls. We could take this opportunity to showcase our adaptability as a generation instead of continuing to push the narrative that everything is the same and working. And, that education presented in the same way as 1990 is relevant and useful.
Children accepted the pandemic changes without say and are trying their best. But, I do hope that this catalyst will teach our children that they don’t have to do things like everyone else.
Remember, we looked towards the artists, story tellers, dreamers and singers when this started to inspire and comfort us. To bring us creative solutions. They learned that from somewhere and were fostered.
Parents, teachers and children: we are all part of this. We should believe in each other and find a way to make strengths accessible, attainable and unabashedly known. Let’s move forward with that being the goal.
Photo Credit :: Lindsay Herkert Photography