Should schools allow kids to take courses and tests designed to their way of learning?
Debate Rounds (5)
I am an open minded person and I am looking have a nice argument.
Hi. I accept this debate and will be arguing the Con.
Since Pro is the instigator and proposed the topic, he should have the burden of proof that schools should allow kids to take courses and tests designed to their way of learning and I need only rebut his reasons for doing so. Note that I will not argue that schools should remain as they currently are nor do I need to provide alternative approaches to education.
Good luck and I look forward to an engaging conversation.
Thanks Pro for a passionate start to this debate. I can see this is something you feel very strongly about. I will do my best to address each of your premises.
As I understand it, your main premise is that we are all different and, thus, learn differently. Therefore, schools need to accommodate those differences and provide an individualized learning plan for each student.
While that would be an ideal, the question we are trying to answer is whether schools SHOULD do so. Since Pro only argued from one perspective, which I cannot deny, I will expand this discussion to include the feasibility of implementing such a program.
Point 1: A system that provides such focused attention for the general population would be cost prohibitive.
As it currently stands, the United States already spend nearly $11,000 per student.(1) There is already a program that caters to those with special education needs called the Individualized Education Program (IEP).(2) However, the cost to provide this service is estimated to be 2-3 times that of a normal student.(3) The system just cannot feasibly accommodate such a program.
Point 2: There are numerous alternatives to public schooling for education.
Home schooled children have the luxury of that focused attention and it shows in test scores.(4) Costs to home school your child varies, depending on the education level of the parent and purchased resources but estimates from as low as $500(5) to $3000(6) per year. Compared to the $11k that the government pays for public schools, that is definitely a bargain. There are also magnate schools that cater to specific interests as well as charter schools for a more "community" flavor.(7) And those are just the cost effective methods. For those that are more financially secure, private schools may be more appealing.
Given that we already lead the world in per pupil spending, I don't think the US financial system can incur 2-3 times more to develop an education system tailored to individual students. Thus, I continue to contend that schools should not design courses and tests for each learning type.
The one thing I want to point out is that right now we have President Obama and from what I remember he had clearly said that his main goal is to increase the focus on education? From what I have seen in his time as president he has not been able to do anything of the sort! If he had to help the schooling system he would invest in that money to not only help those"special needs kids", but rather every child. Yes, we all learn differently and the one thing that neither of us can deny is that education is one of the most important things in life, because without it you cannot be as well off without proper education. By increasing number of teachers doesn't help, BUT instead of that spending money to individualize schooling programs to a child will be best. Plus we also pay taxes which I believe also goes partially to schools so if you think about it the parents are paying the bulk of the cost of schooling. I don't think any parent would not be willing to help their child learn to their best ability by spending a little bit more. The concept of home schooling is an amazing Idea actually. I think that the world we live in is actually technologically advanced enough that we can create learning programs for students online so that it is individualized again. Now isn't that a great idea? Now think about this, what if the teacher handed out homework and tests based on where the student stands in comprehending the material. Just small changes would make a huge difference. For one the literacy rate would start to climb up higher and more younger generations will come out to be more well off. I myself am a researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology but I find it very painful to think that if my schooling had gone better with a more individualized plan I may have been somewhere better in my life.
Cannot wait to hear your point of view. Enjoying this very much.
"...because without it you cannot be as well off without proper education"
I would like to have this point clarified. What we are talking about here is formal education as the topic of debate is focused on schools accommodating various learning styles. Proper education casts a much wider net. As I've mentioned before, home schooling is considered a proper education. Also, self-schooling, such as those who pass the GED, is considered properly educated. Thus, this point does not support the contention that schools should design tests and courses for each individual student.
"By increasing number of teachers doesn't help, BUT instead of that spending money to individualize schooling programs to a child will be best."
In order to provide an individualized education experience, you will have to drastically decrease the student/teacher ratio. Otherwise, what you suggest would be no more than a self-study program where each student learns each material at their own pace. Ideally, you get the max benefit of individualized attention at K-3 with a student class size of 15-18.(1) Nationally, across all public school, the estimate for 2011 is 15.2 so we are already at the optimal recommendation. In order to implement Pro's proposed system, the logical conclusion would require an increase in the number of teachers to decrease the student-teacher ratio.
"...by spending a little bit more."
I don't think a potential increase of 200-300% is a little bit more.
"...what if the teacher handed out homework and tests based on where the student stands in comprehending the material."
I went to a school in Connecticut where, as a third grader, I went to a 5th grade class for math. Now this sound great, unless you're a third grader that only does math at a 2nd grade level. Pro's proposal can be implemented in this way for a majority of students without a complete overhaul of the education system. Perhaps having to go down a grade for certain subjects will help motivate some students to seek additional tutoring or spend the additional study time to improve to their peers.
"...my schooling had gone better with a more individualized plan..."
This seems like a victim's mentality to me. YOU (or your parents at the lower grades) are responsible for your own education. If you determine that your education was lacking when you were younger, what is preventing you from achieving your education goals now as an adult? There are numerous examples of successful people who either did not perform well in school or did not complete their formal education. You mentioned Einstein, who had notorious difficulty in school. Other examples of successful people who did not graduate college include Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and 8 US Presidents, the most recent being Harry Truman.(2)
The solution cannot be to radically change the education system to accommodate each individual's experience as it would be cost prohibitive and extremely difficult to implement. I agree that learning ability is a personal experience. Because of that, the responsibility should be on the individual to maximize their own potential. With a country as large and diverse as the United States, I believe it is near impossible to devise a solution that fits neatly with everyone. There will always be a group that benefits and a group that does not. The goal is to find a system that benefits the most people.
No problem. This is what we're here for...to see issues from a different perspective. Good luck to you in the rest of your debates.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
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