Thursday, September 11, 2014

Education Reform

I know a lot of people are calling for education reform, and I thought I would throw my two cents in.

1. Grammar. In my experience, grammar gets taught to 8-10 year olds, and it gets completely ignored in older grades and high school. I think it would be better if high schoolers learned more about grammar, because they would certainly have an easier time understanding infinitives and gerunds than fifth graders.

2. Vocabulary. In my school, vocabulary lists were always taken from whatever book we happened to be reading. This can result in highly specialized vocabulary. For example, if you read Catch 22, you're likely to get a lot of military words. It would be better if vocab focused on words children need to know, not just whatever words happen to be nearby.

I know that The Cat in the Hat was written, in reference to a teachers' vocab list of words young readers need to learn. I'm sure there is a similar list for older children.

3. Math. Math is great, but I feel like it gets too advanced. I mean, I liked calculus and trigonometry, but I have never used those things outside of a math classroom. Meanwhile, my girlfriend who works with the IRS encounters people who can't add and subtract on a daily basis. So perhaps math classes should work extra-hard on drilling in fundamental math, instead of focusing on the more advanced and abstract math.


Stephanie said...

Michael, I agree with everything that you said, except for one thing; I read your tweet on Saturday and you no longer have a girlfriend. Please correct your vocabulary.

Congratulations to the three of you!

Gabrielle said...

Michael please post a blog post about you are Katie's love story!!

Gabrielle Again said...

and* darn it.

Maddie said...

Michael, I think you mean fiancée.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely. Another thing I would add is history. I was home educated my whole life, so I don't know how it all works in public schools. But I have noticed that no one I meet seems to know the basic history of our country. I think it is an important subject to know because you learn from past events, and history repeats itself. It would do our country a lot of good if we stopped making the same mistakes over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely about the math!