attitudes in education

We have studied a very interesting topic this week about attitudes and culture in education today.  One of my favorite things in our readings/videos was the video Changing Education Paradigms.  I watched it a couple times because I thought there was so much information offered in a creative way that it captured and held my attention.  I especially found the part about medicating our children or numbing them to touch off a reaction in me because I so much agree and have felt that for years the number of kids on prescriptions has become unreasonable. ( http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U

When I was a kid, I am 50 now, I would get up in the morning, eat a bowl of cereal and out the door I went to find something to do.  I spent a majority of time either riding my bike from friend to friends houses or I went to the neighborhood pool.  I don’t have any memories of coming home for lunch usually early evening I would return home to see if my parents were home yet.  I was I guess what you would have called a latch key kid because both my parents worked and on school days I let myself in and then went out to play.  The whole point of this description of my childhood is that I was burning off energy constantly.  I wasn’t any kind of exceptional student but I could sit still probably because I was so active all the other times and even at school we had a few breaks each day to run outside.

You don’t really see kids running around outside anymore.  They aren’t riding their bikes or walking around.  They may participate in some activity arranged by their parents like baseball but I remember my softball days as a lot of standing around.  I just don’t think kids today burn off enough energy and then is it any surprise they can’t sit in a class and listen to lessons or read a book.

I asked my friend who has a 9 year old son if she let him ride his bike around his neighborhood.  She lives in a small town and a good neighborhood with a closed in cul de sac and she said “no”.  Parents are afraid to let their kids out of their sight so how can they run around like kids use to do.  Parents don’t have hours to spend at the park or playground every week so kids are again stuck either inside or enclosed in a yard with minimal explorations.  Kids have so much bombarding them according to the video I mentioned.  They have I-phones, video games, computers, movies and hundreds of TV channels…..on and on.  How can teachers compete with this?

One of the discussion posts this week brought up vocational schools.  Lorraine described her experience of getting her dental assisting certificate before getting out of high school.  This set her up to get a decent job and led her to continue on a get her dental hygiene degree.  These vocational schools are hands on learning as well as books and lessons.  You get to practice what you are going to get a degree in and that seems much more interesting to me.

I just feel school needs to more hands on activities and not sitting at desks listening, reading and studying materials to take a test.  Memorizing facts isn’t nearly as interesting as practicing doing something hands on.