Back in law school, when I took family law, everything revolved around the doctrine of “Best Interests of the Child“. I think that the education sector in the United States needs to adopt a “Best Interests of the Student” doctrine. Something that it is right now sorely lacking.
Is teaching to standardized tests in the best interest of our students? Is a tenure system that keeps teachers on after they’ve lost their enthusiasm for teaching in the best interest of our students? Is having an educational system that still closely resembles the systems and schools from my childhood, despite the vast changes in the world, in the best interests of the students?
What is in the best interest of our students:
- Teachers that are enthusiastic and love what they are doing.
- Teaching so students learn and understand; not so they can answer questions on a standardized test.
- Giving teachers proper training in technology so that they won’t be fearful of using it the classroom
- Using video games to teach. Video games are still only recognized by a small minority of teachers as a fantastic educational tool. They are engaging, allow students to move at their own pace, and teach real world skills.
- Look at the world today. How have careers changed? How has communication changed? What changes should be made in the school curriculum to keep up with those changes? How about a class on the Internet – privacy, copyright, dangers, education websites, etc.
We have to start putting the needs of our kids above the needs of the administrators and teachers. After all, the reason we have schools is for our kids. We are failing them and it can be changed by making one decision that will effect every decision thereafter. Always use the doctrine of “Best Interests of the Students”.
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