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Evaluation of Traditional Education System

Evaluation of Traditional Education System



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Published by Kevin Bondelli

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Published by: Kevin Bondelli on Jun 05, 2007
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 An Evaluation of the Ineffectiveness of the Traditional Educational SystemKevin James Bondelliwww.kevinbondelli.com 
The question of which method yields the most possible learning is one that hasbeen debated extensively throughout the history of education. The most practiced methodis often referred to as the ‘traditional’ system, which is the model for most schools in theUnited States. This system is not the most effective in terms of resulting in actuallearning and has many disadvantages that are actually counterproductive to real learning.The traditional educational system focuses entirely on intellectual and ignoresexperiential learning, teaches students how to succeed on standardized tests and not muchmore, has an authoritarian nature, and leads students to only extrinsically value educationand not intrinsically value learning.The traditional educational system relies almost entirely on intellectual learningwithout including experiential learning. This style of learning is intended to allowstudents to gain an individual meaning to the subject matter. An example of experientiallearning is when a child first touches a hot stove and learns that it is hot. The individualexperience greatly increases the meaning of the concept to the child. Carl Rogers, ahumanist psychologist, asks “why is it that left to his own devices the child learnsrapidly, in ways he will not soon forget, and in a manner which has highly practicalmeaning for him, when all of this can be spoiled if he is ‘taught’ in a way which involvesonly the intellect?”(Rogers 4). The Association of Supervision and CurriculumDevelopment concluded that “The process of human learning always has two parts: (a)confrontation with new information or experience, and (b) the learner’s personaldiscovery of the meaning of that experience. Throughout the history of Americaneducation we have been preoccupied with the information aspect of learning”
(ASCD 3-4). The traditional system completely ignores the ‘personal discovery of meaning’ that experts have determined to be so important to effective learning.The traditional system’s reliance on standardized testing lessens the amount of actual learning that is done in schools. Teachers are forced to teach students only theinformation that is going to be presented on the standardized tests because of theimportance of those tests in determining school funding and student aptitude. SylviaBruni, a public school teacher, wrote of her experience with the effect of standardizedtesting: “The hands-on learning activities that I had the time to lead them into helpedthem make the relevant connections that are essential for creating a lifetime of learning…Today’s rigid emphasis on a state test makes this hands-on type of learningpractically impossible”(Glickman 153). Students have also noticed the ill effects of standardized testing. Vance Rawles, a recent public school student, wrote that “a lot of teachers feel pressure to teach us what is going to be on the city and state tests, not whatwill really connect with us and help us learn”(Glickman 16). A large amount of researchhas shown that not only do standardized tests harm the learning environment for students,but they also are not very effective in truly measuring learning. Some of the negativecharacteristics of these tests is that they “are disconnected from the learners environment,are designed by a bureaucrat removed from the learner’s environment, are designed bysomeone who may not be knowledgeable about the field in which the questions areasked, [and] are simplified for ease in scoring”(Janesick 1). Standardized testing is one of the leading factors that cause the traditional educational system to be ineffective.The social structure of schools in the traditional system is highly authoritarian.Students are allowed little or no democratic involvement in their own education. Carl

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