Team E133D

We are a small group of scholars that are re-defining what it means to be epic.
Authors: Erick
Alex
Alexandra
Joanna

"If you get in the habit of doing these things all the time, you will be full of creativity and innovation." -Gary

— 2 years ago

How We Need to Change How We Learn!!!

— 2 years ago
Essay One By Erick Banuelos

Erick Banuelos                                                                                                                         

Professor Houghton

English 113B

3/05/12

American Cognition

            Today in America the public sector of education is slowly collapsing. America’s education system has been recently rated average compared to international educational ranks (Duncan).We are ranked low next to our neighboring country Mexico. Our education system is poorly representing what it means to be American. A capitalist nation that can wage war and aid third world countries with a super power economy can be seen as unintelligent in the classroom. The education system needs to be reformed so that the image of being an American citizen and student is changed. Our goal should be to outperform the top ranked countries such as Finland and South Korea. By outperforming countries we can acquaint another great reputation and have a society with intense logical ideas that bring innovations to the world. In order to reform the system our President must tear apart the foundation of education and rebuild it. Mr. President must cut the Defense budget, introduce a merit reward system for teachers, and utilize valedictorian college students as teacher recruitments. Education is an investment for this country that will uplift the burdens and debts of America.

            I am a nineteen year old American student that has been educated by Americas’ public schooling system. I come from a household where education is always emphasized. I have attended public schools all my life. I have always thought of myself as intelligent. When I found out how poorly America’s education system is compared to other countries I was in denial.  I thought to myself if I was travel to another country, I would be behind in learning material. It shouldn’t be like that, we should be able to travel and have equal knowledge in all learning subjects. It can be that way if our schools had more money! Little did I know, our schools had limited amount money because America never prioritized education. (I am speaking from my experiences from public school)My classroom sizes doubled throughout the years and the quality of education was mediocre. My teachers would complain about their pay and refused to work until they reached “fair contract”. I felt like I was cheated through middle school because of lazy teachers. The worst thing of all is I didn’t learn key concepts and I struggle in college because of the missing material I should’ve learned years ago. If the education system doesn’t change within the few years, the future will be a sad place for our future generations. Education needs to be America’s first priority. If we can learn efficiently in the classroom we can learn more efficiently when it comes to real life situations.

            If you live in America you have three options for schooling. You have the under budget public education, the overpriced private education and then you have the home schooling option. If you live in America its most likely you will attend a public learning institution. According to the Institute of Educational Science survey, results from 2011 showed that, “In fall 2011, over 49.4 million students attended public elementary and secondary schools”(Fast facts). This means that fewer than fifty million children will have a public education by the time they reach eighteen years old. As these adolescents grow into adults they will be “educated” with American standards that schools administer. These standards have made us into mindless consumers buying in and not knowing why. Our education system has made us into consuming puppets rather than free thinkers questioning everything.

            First of all we must look at the problem we are living with and analyze it. Today in public schools you will find large class sizes, less teachers and shortened school days. This is all from budget cuts also known as the school going broke. School districts are short on money and are expanding their budget as much as possible. Those students that are unaware that this is costing their future love every moment of being in school. A majority of students will experience shorter school days, shorter semesters, longer breaks and fewer lectures. Bottom line is that schools need more money, more teachers are needed and students need to be motivated to learn.

            How are schools going to receive more money? Well since we are placing education as the number one priority on the President’s agenda, we need to cut down on every sector of spending and fund education. The Defense budget can be cut in half; troops can come home and go back to college. As of now America spends over seven hundred billion dollars on the defense budget that is used by the military (Garamone). If we’d stop going to war and remain as a peaceful country, we can cut the defense budget in half and use the rest for education. As of now America spends a total of fifty five billion dollars on public education. However money is not the complete answer to make American education the best. The quality of education will determine the outcomes.

            Teachers need pay raises and bonuses to be motivated to teach rigorously every day. Salaries must be raised in order to have economic stable teachers that are focused on their jobs. Public schools will be able to use college students as interns and assistant teachers. In the classroom students can be informed and inspired by college students. This here is creating a link, college students getting an insight of their career and young students being inspired to go to college. It’s basically helping the community and benefitting from it. However one thing we must do in order to have successful students is get rid of teachers unions that don’t allow the removal of teachers. We must put every teacher on a merit and performance rating system.

             Teacher unions are job security for teachers. A teacher that is absolutely not doing their job will be defended by the union. If we destroy that system and install a merit performance system, we will have happier and more productive teachers in the workforce. The merit system will consist of student performance, rating, and parent approval. It shall be a democracy where everyone has equal opportunity. Once the merit system is up and running we can see which teachers are doing their job educating students to the national standard(which the president will announce). When teachers aren’t meeting requirements they can be issued warnings until they are replaced. Teachers that are doing their job can receive bonuses and incentives. Once we have top performing teachers we must keep it this way and recruit top performing students from Colleges around the country. Since teachers will have benefits and high pay, the occupation will look more appealing to graduates but only the top graduating students in the class will be recruited.

            Lesson planning and curriculum needs to be college level and every students needs to be treated as an adult from the beginning. As students grow up they will realize what education is and how it will benefit them. A big problem about most classrooms is that it is composed of intrinsic learners and kids that don’t want to be in school. The goal is to make students into independent thinkers and allow the learners to learn. If we baby students from the start to the end they will never fully transition into college. If a college style and feel are implied from the start of adolescence, college will just be another phase of schooling.

            Many can say that there is nothing wrong with our education system. It’s not the governments fault or the students fault. It just happens to be that in America we have freedom and have the option of schooling. The choice is go to work or go to school. School is an investment that requires time. This country is inpatient and wants to see instant results. Schooling doesn’t offer instant results but many jobs do. People choose jobs over school, and now many students don’t want to continue education because they want immediate results. It can be that we don’t have great schooling just because we have so many options in our lives.

            In our society our education is dependent on the economy. If the supporter fails, so does a whole country. If the education system is reformed with a budget that is unchangeable American schooling systems will be comparable to Scandinavian and Asian countries. This face lift in education will bring new innovations and ideas that will improve the whole world. Reforming the education system won’t be easy but it’s not impossible. First of all we must allocate funds to have a powerhouse school of learning. Then we must have a merit system to label best teachers and eliminate all the weak links. From there it will be our students elaborating with other nations creating a bright future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Duncan, Arne. “U.S. Falls In World Education Rankings, Rated ‘Average’” The Huffington Post.    TheHuffingtonPost.com, 12 July 2010. Web. 05 Mar. 2012.

"Fast Facts." National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a Part of the U.S. Department of           Education. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. 

Garamone, Jim. “United States Department of Defense.” Defense.gov News Article: Obama Asks for     $671 Billion Defense Budget in Fiscal 2012. 14 Feb. 2011. Web. 22 Feb

— 2 years ago
Grades Are Just a Symbol

How we learn in today’s society really goes by grades. I believe grades are necessary but not during the semester or quarter. Not showing grades during the semester will motivate students on actually learning, rather than thinking about if there passing or not. Grades only cause students to take the easy way out and eliminate the challenging work and may also lead to cheating. Some students will even lower their self-esteem when they do not see a passing grade. Grades also ruin relationships with professors and students. If grades don’t play a huge role in school, students will be motivated on actually receiving an education rather than thinking about the letter or number.

Students will take the easy way out. Students who believe the subject is challenging for them, will start eliminating the difficult work and only do the uncomplicated parts. In the article, “From Degrading to De-grading,” Alfie Kohn states, “Students…adapt to an environment where good grades, not intellectual exploration, are what count,” (287). In other words, Kohn believes that students only care about the qualifying grade and not gaining knowledge about the subject. I agree with Kohn because when my mother sees my report card she only cares about the grades I have rather than knowing how I’m doing in that class.  

Students will go to the extreme. Several students will do anything to get a good grade, such as cheating or copying off another classmate. In the article, “The Case of the Purloined Paper,” Brigid Schulte reports, “[A high school] student [who was the] government president was caught with 150 answer to a final exam hidden in his baseball cap,” (327). Schulte’s point is grades even pressure students who are role models to cheat. I believe if grades pressure a government president of the school then what makes us think other students aren’t pressured either. Cheating shouldn’t be happening in schools, but students are so stressed out of hearing grades are what count from many people, that they believe cheating is the way to go of getting that “A”.

Grades damage students’ self-esteem of intelligences. Many of us have gone through the road of believing we have “A’s” on that test or essay. However when we receive the results it turns out we didn’t perform as well as we expected. For example, this has happened to me many times with essays. I felt really confident about my work, but when the grades were posted, I got a grade I didn’t expect. At first I really beat myself over it and my self-esteem went down. I thought to myself, “you’re not smart” and I wouldn’t put any effort the next assignment. That’s where students make the mistake because the grades do not say everything about a person’s intelligence. Grade only represent the work you have completed.

Grades ruin relationships between professors and students. There’s time where a student feels they have not received the grade they were supposed to obtain. They believe that the professor was unfair to them. Now let’s see on the professor prospective. Many will doubt if the students are being nice to them in order for them to get a good grade. I don’t blame them; many will do it for the same reason, to get an “A.” Kohn emphasizes, “I’m tired of being suspicious when students give me compliments, wondering whether or not they just trying to raise their grade.” This teacher is questioning himself if students are nice to him because they are fond of him or simulating in order to get higher grade.

In my opinion professors should get along with students but when it comes to grading they should grade them fairly. I remember when I was a sophomore in high school, I had a teacher in which I took her class for two years. First year I failed her class both semesters with “F’s.” The second year I began being nice to her and having conversations. Most of my class time I wouldn’t do work because I was talking to her. When my report card came in the mail I saw she gave me an “A.” I was happy because I got the passing grade but I realize she wasn’t a fair teacher.

Grades lead to competition. Grades make students compete with each other instead of helping each other out. Kohn argues, “No matter how well all the students do, not all of them can get an A.” Kohn’s point is that only one student from the whole class could receive the highest grade. In my opinion this makes students compete with each other and be jealous of one another. Nevertheless, competition doesn’t only occur within students but also between schools. When taking the state exam it informs people how well students perform and compares them with other schools to see which school scores the best. This only creates students’ believing the other school is more inferior than their school.

            Many people think grades are good because it keeps students alert. In the article, “Earn High Marks with Good Grading System,” Dr. Patricia Fiorielloi states, “Always keep in mind that grading has to be done honestly and the best students deserve the best grade.”  So, this means there’s always a better student? However like I said before, grades do no good because they only remind students that another classmate is better than them. Some educators think competition is good for a classroom, others think the threat of grades keeps students on task. Does/do either of these create a good learning environment? I mean don’t we want ever student to go to college? If a students is not doing so well in school and constantly been reminded because of the grade, many of them tended to drop out.

            What professors can do during the semester/quarter. When students enter to a class the professor should go over the work they will be doing during the semester. They should eliminate the grading rubric. This will let students focus on the work rather than calculating what has to be done to receive a good grade. When students submit the work, professors could give them comments on parts that are really good and parts they have to work in. When given a test the results would not be posted instead, students will receive worksheets on material they have had difficulty with. Also it would be a good idea to once a week allow students to choose a topic or problem they want to review. Permitting students to choose will make students feel more excited and interested over the subject.  Allowing students to be more involve with the class will make them forget the grade. For example, I have a lab with my English class and we do not see a grade in till our report cards. The staff makes student have fun doing certain stuff and we don’t ask for a grade or anything. It seems that we work the same as when we do receive a grade.

            Grades play a big role in our life of learning, but they don’t justify who’s smart and who’s not. I believe in grades when it comes to applying to college but not during the school session. Grades lead to temporarily knowledge and not knowledge one will have for their whole life time. Society hasn’t notices how grades are damaging, they only limit student learning. Cheating is not acceptable but students are lead to it because the symbol is what counts not the development of their brains. Students should be excited to learn and not be complaining about grades. There are only complaining because they are scared of receiving a bad grade and if their scared then they are scared of learning. 


-Joana Nungaray 

— 2 years ago
#How We Learn 
Cheating our way

Cheating our way

(Source: karlaneon)

— 2 years ago with 3 notes
cinnamongrandcolombo:

General Manager’s Quote of the Week’

cinnamongrandcolombo:

General Manager’s Quote of the Week’

(Source: cinnamongrand-blog)

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
alliebullock:

#quote #truth #wisdom 📖 (Taken with instagram)

alliebullock:

#quote #truth #wisdom 📖 (Taken with instagram)

(Source: afbullock)

— 2 years ago with 1 note
So, procrastinate and do everything last minute.

So, procrastinate and do everything last minute.

(Source: 1000wordsicantsay)

— 2 years ago with 12 notes