Thursday, August 19, 2004

Schools need an overhaul

I was involved in a discussion of classroom sizes today. Teachers say they are too big. Others in the discussion didn't agree. They argued that the problem wasn't really class size (which they claim hasn't really gone up much), but student attitudes.

Well, I don't have a politically correct solution for that, but I have an idea how to give teachers more time for one on one with the students that need it. I think the students who have the ability to do so should be allowed to learn on their own - at their own pace.

I had a chance to do that in grade 6 and at least half of my class had the whole year's material finished by December. So we were given grade 7 material to try. It was a great experiment, but it sucked having to go back to the status quo in grade 7, learning the same material and at a much slower pace. It's no wonder I lost interest in school over the next 4 years.

I also don't think it's appropriate for students to have to choose a scholastic profile, where you have to specialize in a specific genre of subjects. Very few students in high school have any real idea what they want to do next. So why not give them a chance to try as many different things as possible. To take some of the pressure off, since they will do well in some subjects, but not others, we could set it up so that a student only had to excel in 6 out of 8 subjects or something like that.

I would like to see more corporations get involved in the search for and grooming of students for the careers they have the most aptitude for, by sponsoring (paying for) their post-secondary education on the condition that they contribute so many years to that company. There are too many smart kids passing up University and college because they can't afford it.

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