Society is regularly called upon to make ethical judgments related to all aspects of schooling. These considerations of right and wrong are made when creating the school curriculum, practicing teaching and learning methods, and budget issues. Education is a vital part of society in which everyone plays a role. It is not only the role of parents and teachers to support a child’s education, but also the role of the whole society to provide a structure of living that supports what is being taught. The purpose of education is to provide a way for others to learn. However, the motive of learning can vary. Some people may learn out of pure interest, whereas others may learn to be able to function in society by getting a job. Education can occur in any environment where there is a will to learn. According to 2015 data from PISA(Programme for International Student Assessment), the U.S. ranks 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science (Desilver). The U.S. is nowhere near being the top education systems in the world, therefor change in the U.S. education is needed. The school curriculum should include the material which would be most useful to the student. If the curriculum deviates from what the student wants to learn then the student will quickly lose interest. In general education, the curriculum should be as vast as possible to allow students to learn about different subjects and enable creativity and curriculum should also include limited homework. While also looking at other countries that are at the top of school systems in the world.
Excessive Amounts of Homework
While the education system has seemed to be getting increasingly better, it has also led to question of how much stress do students get due to the increasing amount of homework and tests? From Elementary to the last years of high school, The study, by the American Journal of Family Therapy, suggests that students are getting three times the amount of homework (Wallace). In turn, when students are pushed to handle a workload that’s overwhelming, developmental levels can be disrupted. In 2013, Standford University conducted research and found that students in communities with high-achieving standards, who spend too much time on homework experience more stress. Which will eventually lead to physical health problems, a lack of balance in their lives, and alienation from society (Health News). Stress can affect your thoughts, your body and feelings, behavior and most importantly student achievement. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes (Mayo Clinic). That study, published in The Journal of Experimental Education, suggested that any homework that exceeded two hours per night is counterproductive. That’s why considering a “10-minute rule per grade level” recommended by the National Education Association. According to an article published this year in Monitor on Psychology, researchers agree that the quality of homework assignments matters more than quantity of homework. In the Stanford study, many students said that they often did homework they saw as “pointless” or “mindless”. Education scholar Denise Pope, who co-authored that study, argued that homework assignments should have a purpose and benefit, and should be designed to cultivate learning and development. It’s also important for schools and teachers to stick to the recommended 10-minutes per grade standard. In an interview conducted by Standford, Pope also pointed out that students can learn challenging skills even when less homework is assigned (Parker). The study also suggested that one teacher who taught advanced placement biology, experimented by dramatically cutting down homework assignments. As she proceeded to cut homework in increments, the students’ test scores didn’t change (Health News). Showing that not only can you have less homework, but less homework doesn’t mean you sacrifice better test scores.
Creativity in Classrooms
In Modern society, a classrooms creativity isn’t thought to be the most important aspect of education, but rather getting the best possible grade on a test that is impossible to pass due to uncontrollable circumstances. But Multiple independent studies have shown increased years of enrollment in arts courses are positively correlated with higher SAT verbal and math scores. High school students who take arts classes have higher math and verbal SAT scores than students who take no arts classes (Ruppert, 2006). Though Creativity isn’t supposed to be a test to take, a skill to learn, or a program to develop. Creativity is seeing things in new and different ways. Creativity is the art of hearing a tune that has never been written or seeing a work of art on an empty canvas. Its essence is in its freshness and the ability to make dreams come to life. Students who got A’s now believe they’re highly talented and artistic, but those who got an “F” Well, they start to think they are unworthy and their works is rubbish. This thought process not only leads lack of motivation and no drive but leads people to believe that to be successful you must get the best grades and become a doctor, this is not morally correct. Data has shown that 40% of high school students are disengaged in school, compared to 85% of younger students coming in to kindergarten are enthusiastic (Oxford Learning). This creates the idea that while students start of happy to learn, they do not end up like this. Many students may tend to burn out and loose the Idea of future achievement and progression.
U.S. Compared to Finland
Many people might compare the US to other countries and see that we are lacking in the education area. While countries like Finland and Estonia are leading the world in the best education. With the United States known to be a superpower we don’t compete in any standard with the rest of the world. In a recent comparison of academic performance in 57 countries, students in Finland came out on top overall. Finnish 15-year-olds did the best in science and came in second in math. Other top-performing countries were: Hong Kong, Canada, Taiwan, Estonia, Japan and Korea (Wilde, 2015). Students in the United States performed near the middle of the pack. On average 16 other industrialized countries scored above the United States in science, and 23 scored above us in math. Experts noted that the United States’ scores remained about the same in math between 2003 and 2006, the two most recent years the test. Meanwhile, many other nations, Estonia and Poland being two, improved their scores and moved past the U.S (Edsy, 2017). The Finnish school system uses the same curriculum for all students leaving no student behind. Finish schools include light homework loads, very little standardized testing, a comprehensive preschool program that emphasizes “self-reflection” and socializing, and grades are not given until high school, and even then, class rankings are not compiled (Day, 2015). This system emphasizes the idea of no competition which in turn lets students succeed without the pressure of not being the best or even failing every once in a while.
In conclusion, U.S. schools today consist of many rigorous challenges and don’t meet the demand for what our students actually need, but instead implement bad habits that don’t benefit student in future success. The U.S. education system contains hard classes that often lead to stress, lead to no future success, and ultimately burn out students. While classrooms today lack creativity and ambition compared to other countries. Due to how their school systems are set up.
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11 Ways Finland’s Education System Shows Us that “Less is More”.
Day, / Kelly. “11 Ways Finland’s Education System Shows Us That ‘Less Is More’.” Filling My Map, 12 May 2015, fillingmymap.com/2015/04/15/11-ways-finlands-education-system-shows-us-that-less-is-more/.
by: Marian Wilde | April 2, 2015 Print article. “Global Grade: How Do U.S. Students Compare?” Parenting, www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/u-s-students-compare/.
“Role and Importance of Creativity in Classroom.” Edsy, 13 Dec. 2017, www.edsys.in/creativity-in-classroom/.
Young, Kristen Millares. “What Should I Teach My Children to Prepare Them to Race with the Robots?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 18 Oct. 2017, www.theguardian.com/education/2017/oct/18/what-should-i-teach-my-children-to-prepare-them-for-jobs-in-their-era.
Future-Ready Students For the 21st Century. The Board of Education, www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/profdev/resources/skills/futurereadystudents.pdf.