You can take any institution, system, or program in the world and there would be tons of way to make them better. The school system is no exception. Although there are many good things about the school system in America it definitely has its flaws. In my opinion one of the major flaws in our system is the negative attitude many people have towards it. I also believe that stems from changing our focus from teaching student’s skills to teaching them for the test.
By focusing more on testing and grades we are leaving out some important pieces of education. The first being creative classes such as art, drama, speech, and dance. When there are budget cuts or lower test scores these classes are the first to get cut. By cutting the classes the peak a student’s interest we are taking the interest out of school. Along with cutting the classes that focus more on creativity we are also taking away stimulating activities that would help keep grab the student’s attention. This can be anything from field trips to cutting out class activities to focus more on textbook knowledge.
The reason this blog is titled “It’s a Mindset” is because a lot of the philosophies in the system as well as the negative attitude towards the school system is a mindset. First The mindset that test scores are more important than individual’s interests and learning are affecting schools everywhere as I previously mentioned. Next the negative stance on schools is also a mindset. Instead of thinking about the positives of the system everyone focuses on the negatives, whether it is test scores, cutting classes, or cutting activities.
The best thing about mindsets is that they can be changed. In the TedTalk video with Logan LaPlante, LaPlante said, “It’s a mindset, not a system.” So why aren’t we using this mindset in our schools? As future teachers that is one of our most important jobs. If we can change the mindset of even one student, I would say we are being successful. It’s a domino affect; put more emphasis on testing, cut things that distract from testing, more and more students become less interested in school, students don’t learn. As teachers it is important to stimulate creativity in our classroom. This can be done in a variety of ways like more projects, discussions, and even trips. Until the mindset of the entire system shifts away from teaching to the test, we are responsible for creating a creative and stimulating environment in our classrooms.