I know quite a few teachers who have been struggling. I can only imagine the number of students struggling. I wonder how many had major setbacks, or just flat got left behind. I wonder how much of it is because we haven’t really been teaching for years, but rather, we have been teaching to the test to get kids to pass the standards. Are we even still tracking standards after COVID?
The thing about kids, they learn some stuff for short term. Regurgitating information is not learning. Any twelve year old kid can memorize baseball statistics. That doesn’t make him a baseball player. Most folks have access to some pretty nice tech, from cell phones to pads, even computers. Not everyone has access to tech, or their tech is older and can’t keep up. But I don’t think tech is the problem. How we use tech, and it’s availability, definitely a problem. Even we adults aren’t really using tech to better ourselves. We could. It has tremendous potential.
Teaching children to learn independently is a skill. Learning in a group is a skill. We need both those skills. We need to be taught how to use tech in more sophisticated ways- art, music, writing. One of the best ways to learn is through play. That’s been demonstrated over and over by scientist. We’re really not geared, biologically, for the classroom setting. Some people excel at that. Most of us tolerate it. Some don’t do well at all in the typical classroom. Take folks with ADHD. They’re not delayed, or stupid, in any domain, but we definitely don’t play to their strengths. If we did, folks with ADHD would out perform their peers in every subject. ADHD kids would be rock and roll stars in academics!
Our classroom life is disrupted, maybe even gone. Maybe a return to something akin to the old school house in little House in the prairie is what’s needed, where a small room and various ages come together. It’s feasible, with students helping the younger kids master a subject. We definitely don’t do enough on teaching how to help others. I know some folks that just opted out of school and are paying a teacher to teach their kids and the neighbors kids, and they tend to demonstrate learning until the state hands them a test- which is clearly worded in awkward ways- and is even confusing to the teacher. In short- we don’t think the way tests are designed.
Testing, the way it is, is laziness; simply trying to statistically crunch out numbers to the average denominator to justify paying the school…