Updated: May 20
In most learning environments, students listen to a teacher or read an assignment, followed by an assessment, where the information is returned to the teacher. The process is not very enjoyable and for too many children, the biggest lesson they learn is that learning is not fun.
Traditionally, if the students answer all questions correctly, it is taken as proof that learning has happened. You could then infer that supposedly, all we need to do is to repeat the process over and over until all students have encyclopedic knowledge.
You probably went school, so you must know a lot. Yet if you've ever helped a 6th-grader with homework you realize just how much you've forgotten.
So let's come clean. Outside of reading, writing and basic math, we don't remember all that much from our school years. Why do we spend so much time and money pretending that students really know all the stuff they “learned”? The process of lecture-test-forget is futile.
In the end, a school diploma does not mean that you now have a particular depth of knowledge, but it represents that you sufficiently jumped through the hoops required by the teachers.
Is school a waste of time? It doesn't have to be!! Schools have proven to be helpful in assisting children to learn proficiency in reading, writing, math.
Beyond that, the lecture-test-forget method should give way to much more dynamic experiences. We can expose children to a wide variety of topics for them to take an interest in and explore. Additionally, students should discover and strengthen their talents. The things that make them stand out and the things that they can continue to build on throughout their lives. These activities have lasting value – all without lectures, textbooks, and tests. Even better, the children love learning this way and often want more!!
See also: Questions First