'Getting Started on the School System' PT IV: Homiework
You’re probably looking at the title thinking “Oh man, that’s not a good look. The guy can’t even spell”. Well just like you may have heard in the classroom a time or two I say, “WRONG!” (at least I have). Taking my years of education experience to real world, I noticed a “flaw” that made my personal transition difficult. Let me explain…
We all know the atmosphere of a classroom. You show up, say hello to some friends, pull your belongings out of your nifty knapsack, perk your ears up with No. 2 pencil in hand ready to learn! Your teacher then urges the student closet to the light switch to turn the lights off to see the bright light in front of the classroom… The Projector. The note taking finally begins, and you write as quickly as you can to get the information down and hope that it is relevant to the assignments. If you are anything like me, I write about as fast as the school day goes (not fast). Ding Ding Ding the bell rings, the teacher hands you the assignment and your off to the next one!
I don’t mean to go on a tangent, but I do. Because this is an important preface to the rest of the article. It is common knowledge that every person is different and there are different learning types, however, with all the research that has continued to surface, the system has generally stayed the same. Some student’s have great success with the current system but unfortunately, many have not. The epidemic has only continued as graduation rates have plummeted. “Nationally, about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually” said Colin Powell (Former Secretary of State) based on a 2008 study “High School Graduation Rates Plummet Below 50 Percent in Some U.S. Cities”. For further reading of the article view the reference/ suggested reading links at the bottom of the article. The country has tried numerous things to fix this issue, and the percentage has gone down (thankfully) but it seems they still missing a huge opportunity.
Learning Types are extremely important for the education system to take note on as there are seven different learning types; Visual, Aural (auditory-music), Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social, and Solitary (self-study). If you’re complicated like me, you’re a blend of all or some.
We know this, why is it important? It is important because teachers have their learning style as well as their own teaching style. With 15-25 students in a classroom (or more if at a university) it is impossible for every student to match with their learning style. A student with a physical, or social learning style will have a much more difficult time comprehending the information from a projector screen than a solitary (self-study) learner. With teacher’s understanding the student’s learning types, it will only positively impact a student’s success with being prepared for the real world.
You show up at your first day of your job that you either wanted or need to be there. Nonetheless they start you off with some form of training to get you started. The manager or “trainer” in the office then takes a few days to show you around, show you their systems, etc. Then all-of-a-sudden the training stops and boom just like that it’s time to get to work. You may or may not understand it all, but after training, most of the time, you are urged to do further learning on your own time. You meet your quotas, make your money, and if you need to understand a topic better, you go and learn it to become a better employee or business owner. That seems to be an efficient system, right? It very well could be, except, the school system and the work system aren’t on the same page.
A Domino Effect
When you show up to your first day of school, generally, you are taught to listen, pay attention, and take notes. After the school day, you then must take your work home and “figure it out”. As I stated previously in the Learning Types section of the article, that style of learning isn’t for everyone. You run that system for about 12 years, and maybe another 4+ years if you seek higher education. After you complete your education and join the real world, you are given relatively basic training, forced to “figure it out” or ask colleagues for help. If you still don’t understand, learn after hours. What happens is, students are trained their whole life in the most pivotal development era of their life just to end up in a reversed system. That creates stress which affects all aspects of their life, some get depressed, some quit their job, and others get fired due to a lack of competence. If only there was an effective way to prepare for the future!
Homiework (Bringing it all together)
The idea of “Homiework” is a play on words for Homework. A solution of change, is pushing towards collaboration. To properly match with the work system, homework should be done in school, and students should be encouraged to collaborate with peers to do the best job possible on the assignment. Then, whatever they struggled with on the assignment, should be the student’s job to use any resource they can after hours to understand (like a job). This system would create more accountability, a collaborative environment, less pressure on teachers individually, and a competent student who is ready to take on challenges. Student’s will then find the learning style that works for them, generating more success in the classroom (translating into the real world). Obviously, you can’t give an assignment to a group of students and say, “figure it out”, but instead, teachers should hold a 15-30 minute “training meeting” briefly explaining the task, then encourage them to use any resource they can to complete the assignment. Whether it be a peer or the internet, in today’s day-in-age, any resource should be encouraged. There are simply too many smart people in the world to not allow that.
To summarize, homework effects each of us differently and we all learn differently. This is not an article to rid homework, but an alternative solution to a brighter future.