Curriculum should not be tailored toward students’ interests

We should not tailor instruction toward students’ learning habits as it may impair their tendencies toward diversified thinking later on in life. Not to mention, if children start school at the ripe young age of five and grow to understand that their needs are being put above everything else in the classroom–that what they say goes–they may expect the same treatment outside of the educational system.

In an article by Patti Neighmond of NPR published in August, she describes the point of view of University of West Virginia professor Dan Willingham who agrees.

Everyone should learn early on that the world doesn’t revolve around their individual selves. How are children to know how they learn best anyway?

If more placement tests were to be administered other than the annual standardized ones, that would require more resources, funding, and passionate bodies who are educated enough to take on the job.

Budget cuts are being made more and more frequent at the end of the quarterly cycle.

On the subject of the effects these bring to varsity and junior varsity sports teams in Tampa, sports columnist John C. Cotey expressed to the “St. Petersburg Times” those schools could expect to see cuts of almost $100 million in the upcoming year.

I don’t predict the system will run out and spend their precious dimes on new staff while high schools are sometimes left without substitute teachers to fill the spots for full-timers. I’ve seen classrooms bereft of any kind of structure, where teens let the fire in their veins take hold while they trash the place for 45 minutes until the next bell rings.

While the need to reign in the behavior of burgeoning youth is obvious, their minds are still in development until their mid-twenties so there isn’t a lot teachers can do to get them to settle down and learn. Morals are something to be taught first at home and later sharpened through interactions out in the big bad world.

To keep us interested, a good set of challenges and an even wider array of options should be made available for our will to grow strong while attending school. A growing number of children with an affinity toward Attention Deficit Disorder and other focus-oriented studies blight out the truth that people are simply growing up in a big hurry.

It’s not news when I say that fast food and alarm clocks are the way of the world for the working adult, but this doesn’t mean that education should be dumbed down to the point where the youth are babied into thinking on a straight and narrow line.

Young adults should be given the chance to think three-dimensionally, in which students employ all their senses of sight, hearing, and kinesthetically–not just one way or the other; no matter how easily they retain information delivered a certain way.

Rick Keith of Valencia College said something to the affect of 20 percent of what is heard, 30 percent of what is written, and 50 percent of what is done is remembered.

In NPR’s, “Think You’re An Auditory Or Visual Learner?” psychologist from the University of South Florida, Doug Rohrer, says there isn’t enough evidence to back up the theory that some learn better when given audio or visual cues.

I think students should utilize all their faculties to maximize their chances of retaining lessons in and outside of class.

I would liken it to a variation of discrimination if I were taught through textbook only, while my friends were watching movies on Dante and Machiavelli.

I personally need to hear something, see it, taste it, touch it, experience the lesson for me to able to store it away in the back of my mind for a rainy day. I actually have been pushing my photographic memory to regurgitate certain clips and phrases, images, facts, and figures for discussion in my everyday life and throughout my studies.

But I admit, it’s not enough.

The MBTI is one of many personality assessments which tell the test-taker whether he or she is more comfortable in smaller-sized learning environments vs. large crowds, whether they respond well to arguments and the like. All this is good to know. It’s good to know who you are, whether you need the assistance of a legitimate test to tell you or not.

Long story short, smell is the strongest sense tied to memory, according to our frontal cortex. Maybe we should forego the individual studies customized to meet the needs of different students depending on their attachment to one sense over another and create a space in schools where students can take labs to create scents easily tied to lesson plans.

Would that make both Willingham and the critics who go against him happy?

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