How Much Math Should I Study Before Learning Computer Science Educational Trends – Heavily Negative, Sprinkled Positive

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Educational Trends – Heavily Negative, Sprinkled Positive

The last two decades have brought many changes in the world of education, some of them positive, many of them negative. Regarding the latter, perhaps most tellingly, the United States continues to lag behind other countries in science, reading, and math. There are many factors contributing to this decline. For example, there continues to be a large socio-economic gap with a growing number of students living in poverty. Impoverished students cannot be expected to learn if their basic needs are not met. Just as a gap in socioeconomic status is widening, so is the achievement gap. Minority students tend to lag behind their peers academically.

Politicians have not improved the US education system. For example, politicians and supporters of the No Child Left Behind Act heavily promote standardized testing. Standardized testing perpetuates clustering, so lower socioeconomic students are herded into lower achievement groups. Standardized tests encourage rote learning rather than deep learning of concepts.

Many politicians insist on withdrawing teachers’ rights. For example, many politicians want merit pay for teachers. Merit pay does not take into account the natural composition of classes. In other words, some classes inherently have underachieving students. Therefore, the test scores would be lower and thus a lower salary. Another example of being against teachers’ rights is what happened recently in Wisconsin. Its governor overturned collective bargaining, effectively eliminating better working conditions and tenure. If the US follows this trend, the US cannot be expected to retain and hire phenomenal teachers.

Economic weakness has been detrimental to education. Many programs, such as foreign languages, have been cut or reduced. Cutting back on foreign language education is nonsense, as languages ​​help us compete in a global market. Other countries require students to learn a second language from a young age, the US lags behind. Also, class sizes have increased. The student-to-teacher ratio has worsened, creating havoc for teachers and less personal time with students.

Another factor that greatly affects education is that of technology. Technology has been both a blessing and a curse. As for the curse, technology can play a role in widening the achievement gap. Those who are lower socioeconomically have less access to technology. Technology is a huge expense for districts. Thanks to technology such as phone cameras and texting, student cheating has become more sophisticated and harder to detect.

As for the benefits of technology, students can research topics with the push of a button. Never before has learning about any subject been so easily accessible. Computer programs help students acquire new skills. Computer software for teachers allows educators to create multiple lesson plans and help keep accurate notes.

A beneficial educational movement, character education, responds to a negative trend, social incivility. Character education is a school-wide effort to teach students to be part of a community by fostering positive character traits such as honesty, trustworthiness, perseverance, hard work, etc.

Education will never be short of trends. Education is a reflection of society and vice versa. As mentioned earlier, incivility created character education. Technology creates diverse learning experiences. The positives are mixed with the negatives. It may seem like the negatives far outweigh the positives. This may be the case, but over time trends can change. We hope that the trends will again favor the US so that we can once again be a leader in education.

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