Monday, December 22, 2014

School is Boring - A high achieving 14 year old girls perspective of her School

This is a persuasive argument written for the School's Year 10 speech competition. A very gutsy effort from a high achieving girl who is doing very well in the current system. 

School is boring.
Believe me, I've been going for ten years. Day in, day out listening to teachers talk for hours on end. It sometimes makes me just want to fall asleep.
But no longer will we bored out of our minds again, as today I am going to convince you that the way students learn in classrooms needs to change.
Ask yourself is what we are learning relevant in our future? Does your brain switch off as soon as your teacher stands in front of the classroom? And shouldn't we as students have a say in our education?

Some of you might be shocked to hear me, a goody-two-shoes question the teaching methods of schools.
But while teachers are standing up in front of us, telling us what to write and copy down for notes, who is really doing the thinking? We are spoon fed facts and information for what seems like the sole purpose of regurgitating them later in a test.

Which brings me my next question; is what we are learning relevant to our future? Have you ever read a book then thought "I'm going to write a 2000 word essay about that!"? And perhaps knowing that in 1945 Korea split into two zones along the line of exactly 38 degrees latitude will come in handy one day, but wouldn't it be easier to just ask the mighty google?
So you see, boring us with the facts of poetry, geometry or history is just a waste of time.

So, what should we be learning in class? The problem with school is that everybody has to learn the same thing while we all have different interests and the things we find not so interesting. Think back to the joyous times of the kindergarten days; we were free to paint million dollar worthy pictures while our buddies ate play dough.

Now think about what happens in school today; we are given a timetable, scheduling what subject we will learn and when we will learn it. We are told what to learn and how to learn. Confined to work in the walls of a classroom, stuck in rows of desks, sentenced to lunch time detentions for longingly gazing out the window wishing we learning something else.

The solution is self-directed learning. The principle of self directed learning is simple; students taking initiative and having a say in their learning.
Now, I'm not saying that teachers should just let us go willy nilly running round to doing whatever we want, there does need to be structure to what we do in our school day.

Students need to be able to set their own goals, based on a criteria given by a teacher. The Ministry of Education have a vision for all schools to have an inclusive educational system where the school's adapt to fit the students rather than the students adapting to fit the school.

Students can focus on what they are interested in, like understanding the mechanics of a series circuit by actually building a circuit for a light bulb. Or learning the different types of rhyming sequences by writing a song. By taking charge of our learning we will become more engaged and less bored in class.

School is boring.
Believe me, I've been telling you why for almost five minutes. The way we are taught in classrooms needs to change. We need to be engaged and involved in our learning. So when your teacher stands in front of you to tell you about the irrelevant facts of the world, you stand up. Stand up for your education, your right to investigate and explore what you want to learn. Teachers, as J Wesley Baker said, "don't be the sage on the stage, be the guide on the side" and help us become self directed, life long learners.

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