Changing Education Paradigms


Hi Everybody!

Well, I have another chalk board lesson for y’all today. I think it is important to analyze the trends of education and how the current systems are affecting the current generation rising. As I watched this, I was reminded of how when I was 4 I was smart enough to skip pre-K because I already knew how to read and write, but because of how short and young I was, I was kept back because the teachers at that time claimed that I would be “alienated from the other kids” because of my young age. How presumptious. I could have finished school a lot sooner had they not kept me back based on this erroneous presumption. I think that we as a society are compartementalizing children strongly on the basis of age when it comes to education rather than on the basis of intelligence. I think that if a child is of an above average level of intelligence, than he or she should be allowed to progress onto the next grade rather than be set back just to “fit in” with the general population that is of average intelligence. This type of thing I think stunts a person’s ability to grow intellectually which in some ways facilitates behavioural problems as some children are left feeling bored and frustrated by being set back which was the case with me.

When I started to feel really bored in school as I was left to ‘color’ pictures every single day awaiting that day to finally advance into the next class where actual learning would begin, there came a time where I became convinced that I was of “average intelligence” since I wasn’t motivated to do more than average. I knew I was above average and yet I started to do badly in school especially in the area of math because of this frustration. I guess as a society we need to be mindful of how our presumptions affect people, especially children. We can’t keep people in a box is what I’m getting at here.

When I was 14 or 15, I took an age intelligence test to measure the level of intellect I had and measure that level of intelligence to see if it corresponded with my age. What was interesting was that the results showed I had the intelligence level of a 50 year old for a 15 year old *shock*. Yep, I was shocked tooo….I’m a 50 year old thinker in a 15 year old body lol :).  I’m now 27 so I wonder how far my intelligence has increased lol 😀 . By age 5 I had read over 150+ books and got an award for it. Not many kids that age read that many books. I think that when we look at the changing Education paradigms in north america in particular, we see a decline in interest towards education because of the new avenues that are available to create wealth. It seems that the trends of today seem to dictate that it’s no longer a pre-requisite to finish school in order to get a job since even those that do finish school do not necessarily guarantee that they’ll land a job after achieving a BA or PhD .

The way we treat the current generation our current systems of education is actually placing many unlikely levels of intelligence in the same box. Dysfunction can only result from this method of compartementalizing people of varying intelligence to fit this box scheme if people can’t recognize that you can’t treat unlikely individuals alike. There needs to be some sort of a system that allows for those to move progressively and advance forward without interruption regardless of age/creed/ gender or socio-economic status as a basis rather than consequentially stunt individuals intellectually altogether. If their capabilities are above average we should be able to take them further rather than capping their potential on a failed presumption that we need to keep children on the same level as each other on the basis of age group all in the name of social solidarity. Children are actually smarter these days than we make them out to be, but when we cap their potential, we place limits where limits should not be placed and this serves to frustrate children as I was frustrated when I was left in a class room at age 5 forced to “color” everyday and wait one full year until I could be in a class to advance what I already knew.  This frustration can cause behavioural problems and may effect intellectual growth as children advance at such a restrictive pace. I could say more but this is my general opinion on the matter. People may choose to disagree with me and that’s ok. I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on the matter.

Do you think children should advance if their intellect doesn’t match their age? or should we maintain the current status quo so that they “fit in” with their age group despite their above average level of intelligence?

Just food for thought today.

I’d like to hear other people’s perspectives. Enjoy this educational vid and have a blessed day everybody!

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8 thoughts on “Changing Education Paradigms

  1. Generalizing is a big problem in education period today, and I really think who it is hurting most is the kids on the other end of the spectrum who are struggling in school. No one wants to admit that everyone has different talents and not everyone is born with academic intelligence. I work in the Florida school system and our wonderful governor (note the sarcasm) recently promoted and pushed through congress a law about teachers getting merit pay. Now in theory this sounds nice, but they are basing the majority of the pay on results from standardized test scores. Now I work at a school in the heart of the ghetto (for lack of a better term) that is comprised of 98% minority students who come from homes of low socioeconomic status and parents without college education and many don’t even have a high school diploma. To put this even more in perspective, about 30% of the population at our school receives some kind of Exceptional Student Education services (meaning they have a disability). I teach the class for the most severely disabled students (students who are severely intellectually disabled with an IQ of about 65 or below and students with severe autism). I am supposed to have 18 students in my class next year, 18!!!! That means there are really 18 kids with an IQ of 65 or below at one school, that is nuts!! Now take my school and compare it to one of the middle schools in a nice ritzy neighborhood with all kids from high socioeconomic status who have doctors and lawyers for parents. Whose test scores do you think will be higher? So those teachers will always make more money than the teachers at the schools like mine. How is that encouraging good teachers to go to tough schools where the kids really desperately need good teachers? It’s not, no one will want to work at those schools anymore. But our all knowing governor has made the statement “All children should be able to achieve the same if they have a good teacher.” WRONG!! if they have a learning disability and a low IQ and no support at home there is only so much they will ever achieve and it will not be on the level of those with a high IQ and parental support, end of story. So we push these kids and we push them until they hate school and drop out and have absolutely no self-worth and join gangs and other criminal activity or just choose to live off of welfare instead of being productive citizens, when we could be encouraging them to find a trade they enjoy and are good at. That’s what they do in a lot of other countries. We are in the process of adopting new benchmarks for the students to achieve and I asked if they were going to make separate benchmarks for my students (who are on special diploma track) and the only response I have gotten is that it is still being developed, but that by a certain year my students will be expected to achieve regular benchmarks. And my thoughts are “Really, you’re going to expect children with an IQ of 65 or lower to take the same test and achieve the same benchmarks as average children?” RIDICULOUS!! I love my students and expect them to try as hard as they can and will always try my best to teach them as much as they can learn, but an IQ of 65 will always be an IQ of 65 and no matter how much you dream or wish you cannot make them into something they’re not, so instead why not focus on the things they are good at like the ridiculously gifted athletes I had this year who I integrated onto the school team and they brought home all these awards and medals. We need to stop generalizing and face reality because this sugar coated idealist crap is detrimental to both gifted and delayed students!!

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    • I I didn’t realize you were a teacher iwishiwasasian. I think that we need more teachers like you who are passionate and compassionate about their students. You’re a rare breed of teacher that’s for sure ;).

      I love how you brought up the topic of the students who experience the challenges of living on the opposite spectrum of the educational system that tries to promote intellectual equality as a basis for unrealistic school policies that are in effect when addressing the issue of educating students with different needs and IQ levels. It is true statistically speaking that those who come from high socio-economic status tend to have high IQ’s than those that come from low socio-economic statuses, but I think that this is also a product of false indoctrination. Those with higher access to greater benefits tend to do better than those who experience often times financial challenges at achieving the same level of success. However, having said that, that doesn’t mean this generalization is the rule since there are exceptions where we can say that there are times when something good can come from those who come from under-privileged circumstances.

      Political Idealism plays a huge part in constructing who and what a higher achiever is defined by. Such a definition seems to ignore realities and this is what needs to be addressed. Children cannot be rounded up under the umbrella of a socially constructed idea of equality when the needs of one child differ completely from another. We can’t treat differences under the umbrella of equality because it in a way promotes inequality through educators that raise unrealistic standards for needs that cannot be met at the same standards of that of an average student. There needs to be some sort of reformed system in place that addresses all needs, which I know is no simple task, but at the same time it makes the teaching process a better experience for teachers if what is promoted in schools is the encouragement and celebration of intellectual differences and structuring education to met the needs of these differences.

      There are so many issues surrounding the politics around the educational system that places these unnecessary stresses towards students that are being pushed to achieve a standard of unrealistically based expectations of success. Rather than the emphasis of success, there needs to be more of an emphasis towards understanding what is being taught. I find that in Canada, a lot of students are being funneled through a system to “pass” and never fail which I think is crazy because when these students reach a stage where they graduate and enter into higher learning, you’ll be surprised at the level of illiteracy that is discovered at this stage and even basic computation of math and basic level sciences become a challenge to many when put into advanced levels of learning. Many Students drop out of first year university as soon as they discover that they don’t have the skills set to put into practice what they should have learned in high school because they were being funneled through a system that promoted a higher graduation rate in order to promote the school to increase higher attendance rates, while at the same time ignoring the increasing illiteracy rate in the standardized school tests in the 9th grade levels. it’s quite a sad state of affairs here in Canada. I grew up in the British system so when I came here…things where very easy to learn because the standard of education was lower than what I expected. I know that the US has a system that is a little more challenging than ours and they seem to have more programs than ours since our lovely government loves to decrease funding for education as of late and increase student loans instead….(note my sarcasm as well). So there is a difference in how students are learning there in comparison to here but what cannot be ignored here is that differences need to be addressed for what they are. Trying to tie everyone into the same bag isn’t addressing this issue.

      I love your arguements.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Sherline 😀

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      • Yep, I’m a teacher lol. I didn’t mean to come across sounding like there will never be any gifted students at my school, or any other school with primarily students from homes of low socioeconomic status. I was just saying that they do not have the support system or the resources at home that children from privileged homes do. From experience I know, that for the majority of these students education is not really emphasized at home. (though because of the unfortunate drug situation that crops up in underprivileged areas there is a higher number of students with disabilities) But I totally agree with you in that we cannot try to put everyone in the same boat. I think they do a really good job in a lot of asian countries where they have them take an academic test at a certain age and if they do not pass they do not go further in academic school, they instead take an aptitude test and are placed in a trade school based on that. But this would be way too politically incorrect in the U.S. I really wish I could focus more on just basic living skills, community skills, and vocational skills with my students, because that’s what they really need is basic life skills and job training because they are on special diploma track and will never attend college. Instead I have to spend the majority of my time trying to teach them skills that they may never be able to learn (i.e. learning to add and subtract with regrouping when they could learn to use a calculator to budget their money) because they will be tested on it and my pay and the amount of money the school receives and the school “grade” will be based in their scores. It’s a mess. We sort of have the passing kids along problem here, at least for ESE students who are still on regular diploma track. It is so problematic to document all of the interventions you have been using with an ESE kid to keep them from failing and it becomes such a political issue that they just tell us not to fail ESE kids at all. Crazy right? Because if they didn’t really earn the grade, it means they don’t know the skill, but people are going to expect them to know it, and when it comes time to take their standardized test, it doesn’t matter if they’ve passed all year grades wise, if they haven’t really learned the material they are going to fail the benchmarks regardless. It’s very silly logic.

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      • That is so true wishiwasasian! I agree with you that it is silly logic. Unfortunately we have a corrupt system of education that is capital driven and the ones that are benefiting from this aren’t the students themselves. Schools like to appear good by raising the graduation rate but hide under the rug the increasing illiteracy rate through the standardized testing mechanisms that they have put in place. They pacify the problem through funneling children through the system. Essentially, we need reformed policies of education that is able to meet these needs regardless of socio-economic background and in our case in Canada, ethnic back ground. The corruption in the education system is lowering the standard of education for our present generation and that is what concerns me as an individual.

        Thanks for your input. I love the way you think.
        God bless you!
        Sherline 😀

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  2. Well, Sherline, the proof is in the pudding, as they say: My eldest, my daughter, skipped seventh grade most successfully and went to college at barely 16–and lives out a most successful and happy, well-adjusted adult life today, both professionally and personally. In my son’s case, he had many very gifted friends his same age and they all got shifted together into college credit classes in high school–so were able to skip their freshman years at university completely. They are all quiet well- adjusted and contributing much to the world both professionally and personally!

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