Tread Softly Because You Tread on My Dreams
Sir Ken Robinson in 2010 spoke about a Learning Revolution at a Ted Talk and at the end he read the poem “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” by William Butler Yeats. Sir Ken wants us to remember that we need to change education in America, or the way we administered it, because we could be crushing the dreams of the children with our current educational practices. “We make poor use of our talents. Very many people go throughout their whole lives without any real sense of what their real talents may be.” (Ted, 2010). He says this in the fact that schools and traditional school settings could be crushing or hindering the learning or creativity that children now days have. It is a major concern and maybe the lawmakers are doing it wrong by pushing standardized testing and not embracing technology and the arts.
When I was a child in kindergarten, I did kindergarten things; draw, play, run around, ABC’s, 123’s, singing, having fun, taking naps etc. Now days the students are brought up on technology and a whole different standard. “Most recently, Bassok, Latham, and Rorem (2016) studied today’s United States kindergarten programs and found “striking increases” in standardized testing, similar structure of first grade programs, and less time being spent on art, music, science, and play (p. 14) (*) Are we hindering the children’s creativity or their dreams by doing this? It just seems that we are losing our focus on what we should really be emphasizing.
Standardized testing has become such a huge part of our society in America because that’s how the government rewards the schools. The higher the test scores, the more money or rewards the school will receive. But where is the real learning going on? We’ve taught children to memorize answers and not learn WHY the answers are what they are.
It seems that we as a nation have lost what it means to have an education. Do we take it for granted what it means to have an education? Kids seem to go to school and learn what to answer on the tests besides how to be creative. Even as an educator myself, the students I’ve had to teach how to learn in middle school. It could be the population I work with and their lack of interest in being in school but, they don’t seem to have basic math skills or understand how to decipher correct answers on multiple choice tests. They show no empathy on failing tests or doing bad on assignments. I do believe they don’t understand the importance of an education because it hasn’t been stressed enough to them.
Yes, it is time for a revolution, but we must understand that it cannot happen overnight. Immediate action is required so we don’t continue to spiral down into the depths of being so far behind that we will have a generation that has no idea how to solve simple problems or common-sense activities. Technology may not be the answer. If used correctly it can help slow the progress of the downward spiral and bring it back topside and eventually move in a true upward direction and let the kids of tomorrow live out their dreams.
TED. (2010, May 24). Bring On The Learning Revolution!
[Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LelXa3U_I&feature=youtu.be
*Schoffstall, M. (2018, April 27). Play in Kindergarten: The Battle Between Standards and Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Retrieved November 23, 2019, from https://medium.com/@mjs5952/play-in-kindergarten-the-battle-between-standards-and-developmentally-appropriate-practice-7779a9db4bfe