THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY

Conventional or Alternative Schooling?

By Coral Mesika
 Sean Gallup / Staff
In the post modern world in which we live in today, one is used to customizing his or her day from start to finish. We pick our means of transportation, food of choice, daily activities and everything in between. But when it comes to schooling, most of us generally don’t question the conventional education system but rather accept it for what it is, for the good and the bad. The world is made up of so many types of people does it make sense that most get educated the same way? Is conventional education the best schooling solution or the just the most common one?

 

Arguments for Conventional Schooling

 

Provides a Real World Environment.

Conventional schools provide structure, diversity and settings that mimic a real world environment. A set schedule of about nine periods a day limits each subject to the time it needs in order to give room for the next. Students are exposed to a diverse group of people that mirrors the real world and work force. Furthermore, conventional schools tend to be large in size which allows students to interact and socialize with a large number of peers throughout the school day. The world may need an alternative environment, but as long as it’s in its current form conventional schooling will better prepare its students for it.

Challenging curriculum.

Traditional schooling emphasis on academic scoring has the potential to push a student to his or her best by setting high academic standards for them. Furthermore, a competitive atmosphere which can also drive the students to better results. Excellent academic achievements at an early age may indicate excellence in later studies.

Wide range of Support Services.

Conventional schools receive state funding and have the responsibility of providing equal educational opportunities for all of its students. Students who are eligible receive extra special education, counseling, speech therapy and a variety of other services. These services can lift a very heavy weight off the families who would need to provide their children with additional help. Out of school professional support can add up to hundreds of dollars monthly, where at conventional schools they are free of charge. According to an analysis by the Committee for Education Funding the US spent $11.9 billion dollars on special education in 2016 (That is about 60% more than in 2002).

 

Arguments for Alternative Schooling

 

Individualized Approach.

Alternative schooling systems provide an individualized learning approach for its students and teachers. Teachers can shape a student’s (or a group of student’s) curriculum based on his or her needs. This gives students the time and tools they need in order to learn in a way that suits them whilst allowing them to reach their full potential.

Low Student to Teacher Ratios.

Low student to teacher ratios provide the structure needed to accommodate the individualized learning approach. Students have more one-on-one time with their teachers or small groups and are given greater attention than those of conventional schools. This can play an important role to students who don’t speak up in large classes and may give them a more nurturing surrounding. Overcrowded classrooms affect not only the students but also the teachers. If teachers spread themselves too thin they will not reach their full teaching potential and may also harm student teacher relationships.

Experimental Learning is Applicable to the Modern World.

Traditional schooling systems were created in the 18th century and designed for that specific time period. In the TED talk Sir Ken Robinson describes the differences between the two time periods (the 18th century and the modern world) in order to understand the discrepancies of the schooling system which we still use today. He states that we are trying to educate our kids early on in order to fill our job positions 20 years from now. How can we possibly do that if we can’t anticipate tomorrow’s economy? This is where experimental learning comes in. Our world needs to be constantly assessed because of its rapid development. One answer to a question is no longer enough. The world needs creative minds and collaborations in order to keep growing as it is now, and through experimental learning we may be able to reach those solutions.

 

Bottom lines: Education will continue to be the backbone of every modern society and the foundation taught to young generations growing up. Should society approach this topic differently than it has until now? Should we give a stage to alternative solutions that can advance students in individualized ways? Or should we stick to conventional methods that provide a solid entrance into the “real world”? Is there a way society can integrate both methods in order to focus on the macro progress on the young

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