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The school system in the United States is among the strongest in the country. As a result, the United States has the most accredited colleges in the country, for both domestic and foreign students. The method has both positives and disadvantages, but it also has bugs. To create a new structure, the existing one's positives should be preserved while its flaws are resolved.
One of the new system's greatest attributes is its inclusivity, which should be preserved. Students with special needs attend the same school as students without special needs. In inclusion, there are no special schools that separate students without disabilities from those with disabilities. The architecture of American schools includes ramps for students with wheelchairs, and the door knobs are placed at a height that can be accessed by everyone. Inclusive learning is a way for special needs students to feel that they are part of the society and not secluded. For this reason, special needs students attend regular classes for at least more than half of the day. However, the specialized services such as speech and physical therapy are provided outside the classroom. There are several practices in schools which help the special needs students. One, a buddy can be assigned to help the student when he/she goes to the cafeteria or the bathroom. It is also a way of teaching non-special needs students to appreciate the diversity in society and to offer assistance to the less fortunate (Michael W. Firmin 1605-1607).
The current education system has invested in technology. This aspect of the system should be maintained. In the late 1990s, UALR was the first university to offer online registration, classes, online applications which helped students and wireless network in the campus. Today, every college in the USA provides online services and free Wi-Fi for its students. Technology has also been integrated into the American education system. Many institutions provide projectors for sharing maps and notes in classes and lectures. High school and college students are also encouraged to use computers for their research projects. The use of online quizzes by some teachers has also increased students’ interest in learning (Michael W. Firmin 1613-1615).
The current curriculum focuses more on the quantity than quality. As such, it has lowered students' interest in science and mathematics. The curriculum tries to cover numerous topics within a short period; therefore, the students do not have time to master the topics. Mathematics textbooks in the USA cover an average of thirty-six topics; books in Japan and Germany cover eight and five respectively. The new curriculum focuses on the quality of education rather than the quantity. The student should have a prowess in a few areas instead of knowing having insufficient information on several areas. Students should engage in activities that increase interest and skills in problem-solving. For example, they can go on a field trip to a television studio and be asked to develop a mathematics or science related TV show. According to research, students are more active in practical activities than reading class notes. Technology courses should also be made core subjects in public schools. The number of summer schools that offer engineering and technology should also be increased. When students begin to engage in science projects at an early age, their likelihood of majoring in science-related courses increases.
The grading system in America can be confusing, especially for international students. Currently, national examinations do not exist in America; each state has its own curriculum. The academic papers are graded according to percentages which are then converted into grade point averages (GPAs). When two students apply for a college with the same GPA, the quality of the schools they went to is considered. Schools do not have the same standard of education; therefore, the college will pick the student that went to the more prestigious school. The system does not guarantee that students are graded based on their intelligence. There are cases where students from average high schools had a better academic performance in college than their counterparts from prestigious private schools. In order to solve this problem, the new education system should standardize the quality of education in all states. The GPAs of students from different schools should come from a standardized way of grading so that students from poor and middle-class families have the same opportunities as the ones whose parents can afford prestigious schools (Clack 41-43).
The traditional grading system does not allow the students to be creative. During grading, the student's work is either wrong or right. A student who scores an A is intelligent while the one who scores a C is considered average. The system does not consider the fact that the A student may be good at cramming answers while the C student is more intelligent but does not cram the exact words when studying. This system discourages students from expressing their creativity when they do not have the exact words to the solution of an exam question. In the new system, schools should be encouraged to grade the students’ work based on their school of thought rather than the exactness of the answer.
The learning environment in schools also needs to be improved. One, the teachers should not have favorite students. Students who feel that the teachers do not like them rarely interact in class. The result is a few students developing their learning skills while others develop a negative attitude towards learning (Clack 37-40). Second, teachers should encourage students to ask questions instead of giving lectures. Other students should attempt to answer the questions before the teacher. Third, students should also be encouraged to engage in different ways of learning such as e-learning, the flipped classroom, direct instruction, project-based learning and peer-to-peer learning. E-learning is very useful for students who spend most of their time on their phones and computers. In project learning, students gain skills and knowledge by working over a specified period to investigate and present findings on complex questions. In flipped classrooms, learners watch online lectures and engage in online academic discussions; they can also research at home following the teachers' guidance.
In conclusion, the education system is above average. However, there is room for improvement. There should be more focus on quality rather than quantity learning; students should spend more time mastering a few disciplines than having little information about diverse topics. There should also be policies that encourage students to take an interest in science and mathematics at an early age. The students should be encouraged to explore their creativity and the grading system standardized. Finally, the learning environment should be improved. Teachers should not have favorite students, and they should encourage the different methods of learning.
Clack, George. "A Diverse education System: Structure, Standards and Challenges." American Studies Journal (2007): 36-45.
Michael W. Firmin, Deanna J. Genesi. "History and Implementation of Classroom Technology." Science Direct (2013): 1603-1617.
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