Tag: Students

How Flexible Education Fosters Confidence in Students

The educational system has always been based on students learning by curriculum handed down from top officials. Students don’t get too much of a say regarding their studies, as what they are taught is often decided by local and state officials based on mandates. However, things are shifting to a more client-driven system. Many school districts and colleges throughout the globe want to personalize these crucial educational years for students. But, how can they accomplish this significant undertaking? Dual-credit courses might just be the answer.

Dual-Credit Courses Customize the Learning Experience

Using this new and revolutionary learning method is shaking up schools across the country. With dual-credit courses, high school students can take college classes for free at local universities. This saves them time and money on post-secondary education.

Many students don’t have the money to pay for college, and they may not know all the options available to them. Some may look to community college, but even these learning centers require money, and paying for classes is a big undertaking. Giving younger students educational options to try an array of different things can help secure the future of the country.

High School Students are Embracing These Programs

One reason why these programs are being highly favored is that students have the chance to try college courses before they enroll and spend thousands of dollars. Some students know that they cannot afford college, and, therefore, hardly entertain the idea of post-education services. What if they spend all that money only to realize that college is not for them? It’s a costly lesson.

Studies show that kids who attend college or take college courses during high school are more likely to fully complete their education. With these programs, students can immerse themselves in college life early. They get some higher education schooling under their belt for free, which means that should they decide to pursue their education further, getting a degree will cost less.

Areas in which the dual-credit models have seen success can thank the partnerships formed between colleges and high schools. Working together is essential. No longer does someone at the board call the shots for the needs of the students. Together, the schools collaborate to develop course structures based on what the students specifically need and want. The goal is that each student moves on seamlessly from high school to college, or the workforce.

The fact that not every student will pursue post-secondary education is okay. Still, this program gives them experience and training for where they are at that moment, and it lays the groundwork for future success.

Helping Students Develop a Unique Mindset and the Ability to Think Critically is the Calling of Every Teacher

Effectively motivating your students and providing them with engaging educational programs and activities is at the forefront of every teacher’s mind. However, it would not be beneficial to teach them so that they are unable to learn on their own. Teachers should obviously aid in a student’s learning, but also help in the development of a unique mindset and the ability to think for oneself, thus being able to learn outside of just a classroom setting.

Doing this can be somewhat challenging, as you’ll essentially have to “fool” them into taking part in activities that almost force education. This, however, sounds much harsher than what you can actually do. Inspire unique thought by asking open ended questions and encouraging all to take part in a discussion. Assign projects that require students to combine their current sets of skills with new ones learned over time. Develop a framework within your regular teaching schedule that does not take away from current methods, but adds a twist to them every now and then.

One great way to develop unique mindsets in the classroom is to ask your students to theorize something. This can be done over a short or long period of time in which their theories may prove true, or false. Have them test and modify these stances as things progress. This is a great activity to expand one’s knowledge and learn that a theory is just that; something that can be proven false no matter how passionate one feels about it.

Encourage reading, but do not demand it. Younger students are often forced to read, whether it be sections of a science book, or a certain number of chapters in a fictional work. This poses the risk of creating disdain towards the idea, making children and young adults unwilling to read during their own time. While certain activities and classwork will require reading to some extent, explain the benefits of doing so on your own. Allowing your students to read without any external pressure can do wonders for their classroom engagement in addition to improving brain power.

Create activities in which your students must work together to achieve an end goal. Collaboration is a great way to learn one’s own value in any given situation. Rather than creating some type of hierarchy, assign equal roles and allow your students to enjoy their unique value applied to the task at hand; another great strategy in building confidence as well.

Teach them to embrace any mistakes made. Almost no task will be done perfectly throughout their education, and that is perfectly acceptable. It’s an age-old saying that holds true merit: “Everybody makes mistakes.” To discredit yourself because of any type of mistake is to demean your own worth. Teach your students to make these mistakes without pointing any fingers, and explain the benefits of allowing oneself to stride through missed opportunities. To dwell on a mistake provides no value, but they should learn from any made.

Though these are just a few strategies you can introduce to your students to help them develop unique mindsets, they can be extremely valuable both in, and outside of the classroom. As Alice Wellington Rollins once said, “The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer.”

Education Research: What to Know for the New Year

Educators and those within the education industry are well aware of the constant changes and innovations that occur on a yearly basis. New studies may be released promoting certain teaching strategies as opposed to others, or detailing the types of environments children seem to thrive in that contradict a traditional setting. Regardless, professionals with years of experience under their belts understand the most important aspects, and those that are the most truthful. Below are a few findings Chalkbeat has compiled that all educators should take with them heading into 2018.


Teacher Certifications Come with Ramifications


Vetting teachers before hiring is obviously a crucial aspect of the employment process in education. However, overly strict rules often limit adequate, trustworthy teachers from joining, and thus benefiting the school they wish to work at. Similarly, certifications exclude teachers of color, which is often extremely detrimental in the sense that students of color have been shown to benefit more from educators of the same ethnicity.


Another downside of certifications is that they are often state-regulated, which means teachers are very limited in terms of where they want to teach. While it may be rare for an educator to move across states, the option should always exist. Certifications effectively render that impractical.


Unions may not be beneficial


Steven Virgadamo, with 35 plus years involved in implementing school improvement programs in nearly all 50 states, believes that having a group of educators more interested in protecting their jobs can sometimes be counterproductive to student performance, unless of course job security is tied directly to student test performance. The needs of the students and their families should never be placed secondary to the needs of the teachers.


State Tests Show Results


Mandatory statewide testing has always been seen as a somewhat controversial practice, but they have been shown to provide results. The University of Chicago found that students who took state tests later showed improved grades, a higher acceptance rate among colleges, and a consistent college tenure. But, with more testing came more displeased students, suggesting that teachers who may be great at improving test scores may lack in providing a happier educational environment.


Staying ahead of the curve in educational trends can be difficult, but knowing what works best, and what has worked in the past can equip teachers with the necessary tools to help their students succeed, as well as improve their personal teaching methods.