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Are Students Really Learning More Today

Students,how can Teachers make learning more exciting? Any advice?

Yes, my favourite subject is rapidly becoming Geography and that is because our teacher uses a range of things in class (and because he's nice but that can't be helped) - sometimes we write, sometimes we watch a video and make notes, sometimes we read, sometimes we do diagrams, sometimes we just talk, we even have our own mini white boards we sometimes use, and we have end of unit tests and pop quizes.
I know it really helps if you have a versatile subject like Geography, but I think I'm doing well in it because of that.

Hope I helped.

How does a teacher know if a student is really learning the curriculum?

The fancy educational jargon for that is “assessment,” and most teachers have to have some form of documented assessment for their students on a regular basis. For most teachers, this means giving grades for assignments, tests, projects, homework, etc…There’s also a fair amount of just observing the students as they do their work, to see how much they struggle. Open-book tests are great for this. If I see a student constantly checking their book, it means they either still don’t know the material, or aren’t confident in their knowledge.But that’s just how teachers know if their students are learning the material. The administration and people outside of the school often just students’ mastery of the material based upon standardized test scores.When you take a standardized test (like the PSAT or ACT Aspire), your teachers get a detailed breakdown of how all of their students did on various topics. For example, the report might say that last year 85% of students I taught were judged as “competent” in comma usage, but only 73% were “competent” in spelling. That tells me that I need to focus more on spelling next year.My detailed report has about 40 different categories like “comma usage” and “spelling.” The math teacher’s report has even more categories.Again, knowing and observing the students matters too. Some students are just bad test takers. Some students don’t try on the tests. I’ve had students who turned in blank tests just because they didn’t care, and thus they brought down my class averages. Fortunately, there’s a way to factor out those scores when they do that.

Do students really need strict teaching like in the old times?

See in this 21 st century technology helped alot in studies undoubtedly.Technology improves the concentration and distract the concentration in studies.In earlier time students don't have electronic devices to access their studying material but now there is no derth of study material available in internet .Either it is a soft or hard copy.We should learn to change accordingly to the situation demands .At the same time new modern technologies used in student life are more comfortable and productive too.Now old methods are no more gold methods.e- learning,i-interaction based learning,online classes,clarify the doubts then and there are more accessible for this fast moving world.

Does anyone believe that high school students today are really smarter than they were 25 years ago?

Being smart and being educated are two different things. I don't know who says HS graduates are smarter or why. But as you point out, they certainly are not well educated. Maybe, since there are more HS students now than before, the smart ones are more numerous and maybe, since so many also don't bother to pick up an education, the smart ones who do are more noticeable.

Are marks of a student really important?

As far as my experience goes, I think marks cannot be used to judge a person's knowledge or intelligence. Grades are just a measure of hard-work that a student has put into memorizing that particular subject. Memorizing does not mean comprehension. I have seen people in my school days bragging that they scored 97 in Physics or 98 in Biology. I laugh at them now. Yes the marks boosted their career. Agreed. But where did 'Education' go? I was just a below-average scorer in my school days but right now if somebody asks me- What is a space-time fabric? (Physics) Or What is a Perpetual Motion Machine (Physics)? Or What is Amniocentesis? Or What is vegetative propagation (Biology)? Or What is meant by a meander (Geography)? Or What is meant by Neutralization? (Chemistry), I can effortlessly explain all of them without referring any book. Yes it's true that all these things never come in handy after you pass out of school but when you manage to recall all those concepts perfectly after 10-12 years, it will give you high-end personal satisfaction that money cannot buy! On the flip-side though, I am not saying that you shouldn't score good marks but are those marks adding value to your brain? That's the question that you should ask yourself.

What is the ideal number of students in a classroom for teaching?

In my personal experience (12 years of teaching special education), I'd say 10-15. Less than that, and it's actually harder to keep folks on task. More than 15 and you just don't have the time to get all the 1 to 1 time in. I'd actually take exception to the idea some folks have that 1 to 1 is best. Doesn't teach independence.

Are grades becoming more important than actually learning?

The education system in the United States is flawed. Instead of students wanting to learn, they try to better their grades to improve their chance of getting into college.  Education in the America is just becoming a competition amongst students and spoiling the fun out of learning.  Grades are ruining the way we think of education.  They are a superficial way of indicating what a student actually learns.  Students need to focus on acquiring more knowledge and ignore their scores.  They will later attain more success and knowledge that will better our human nature.  Teachers should find it problematic that the majority of the kids in their class just attempt to memorize and cram information for a test.  The material they learn will bypass and the only thing that will remain is a mark. It is understandable that grades are a motivation for learning, but truly they are creating a stressful and competitive environment.  Higher marks are becoming more important than learning itself, but there is no alternative.  Grades are the only effective way to involve students with studying and being engaged. Students need to find a way to motivate themselves for school besides striving for the scores they want.  Teachers should solve this by becoming more enthusiastic about learning in their class.  It will become a more fun and effective studying environment, where grades are not a distraction and education is the focal point.-TristanC