In the beginning of the Exploring Education class I did not know what to expect. I came into it thinking that I would learn about teaching and how education works. After the first day I found out I was wrong. The Exploring Education class is much more, it is a class that is used to make schooling and learning a more fun and involved topic. This may sound odd but being a student that personally did not like the way schooling was done I was extremely excited for this new opportunity to change our school.
It began with proficiencies. Not many people knew what that truly meant at the time… some still don’t, but I wanted to know more. So I asked my teachers and our principal questions that most students wanted answered and I learned that this new system was amazing. It is a step forward in the world of education! Even if our school and most others haven’t perfected the Proficiencies it is still quite exciting to try to get involved with this type of grading as it is a step in the right direction to ignite the love for learning!
The old grading system in my view is not fair to students. To compare students and grade them on what the average student is doing is not learning! SAT’s, GPA’s and other tests are non personal and are blinding to students. Most high school student don’t care about what they are learning about. They care for their GPA and how they look to colleges, this is more important than actually learning the facts.
After a few weeks of being in the Exploring education class I realized that change doesn’t come quick. To change something is a process and it requires lots of work. Me being a sophmore in highschool makes me eager to make change happen. But before the change could happen we needed the support from students and teachers. This may sound easy, but it normally is not. To change a way a person has been graded his or her entire life is hard. It’s difficult to be given a power in your school and try to use it… I believe that the students being given the power to change the way they learn and how they learn intimidates teachers and students alike.
As we progressed in Exploring Education, I learned more and more about schools across the country trying new and improved ways of learning. Some schools are doing PBL (Project Based Learning), and some are doing no numeral grades and teachers write reviews and reflections to show the students talent and work. So I became invested in learning these alternative ways of learning, what really caught my eye was the PBL and how the students enjoyed to learn and the teachers took a “step back” and let students be more independent. This interested me to change the way we work: Not from rewriting worksheets but by making a student show that they have the knowledge and work ethic to make a project. Not only for school but I feel it prepares the student for real life scenarios and work.
So deciding Project Based Learning is what I wanted to pursue in this class we began to go to other schools doing similar things to what our school is doing. This is a point in the year I believe that I began to truly understand education. Visiting these other schools they showed the flaws to their systems and showed what was working to us. This helped me decide ways that could make our school a better learning environment, for example to see some places have a comfortable place to sit and learn without stress was enlightening, I listened to principals having to change things about PBL. I got to hear students like me be truly excited for the school day and enjoying the work that they are doing.
So looking at what Lamoille needs I believe that Project Based Learning is the push that Lamoille needs to energize learning and teaching in our school. I have talked to students and teachers and most have agreed that this would be a great program to implement in our school. So my ultimate goal for the exploring education class is to bring PBL to Lamoille and to change our school for the better.