our evolving understanding of change in education

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Unlike nations such as Japan, Germany, France, and England, USA, does not track children. Comparing itself with these and the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations, the USA finds its standing to be lower in terms of its public schools’ attainment of a broad-based cure that could ensure educational sanity. While preparing future citizenry to address defined and undefined changes, the need is to provide effective education to the citizenry. Systemic change as recommended by studies and education reform reports fail to recognize that the context, however, is not as complex as the student is. Many countries provide productive lives to their citizens through provision of separate schools for special needs children. State-sponsored, mandatory attendance to school ends earlier in many other countries. Education implementation differs globally. Given the difference in inputs (or venues for inputs), comparing educational outputs is tough. The disparity can be measured by reviewing the preparedness of American high school graduates for further education. Nearly half the college-goers require academic remediation and pay too much for sources and use resources that do little beyond readying them for a curriculum for which their readiness is certified through the high school diploma. The school year where learning environment separated children by age, despite theirunpreparedness developmentally, fails a student not completing nine months of learning in the year. Besides age, social and cultural factors to decide learning ability. At-risk students are presumed to be such because of socioeconomic status. Students are just distinguished by gender and race. Neat and salable distinctions can be misleading, with race comparisons being most dangerous. While most teachersare competent, others just take up space.
Systemic change requires getting rid of things that no more work. Age influences physical and social growth, butthose aspects are secondary to intellectual maturity on the basis of which learning is measured.Focus on standardizedand broad measures presumesthat all instructional programs focus tested concepts. Standardized testing ignores developmental differences, community differences, and school readiness differences. Instead of using time, which can be an all-embracing enemy, student growth can be seen through their fulfilment of objectives, demonstrated competence, proficiency, or mastery. 


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Author’s contribution to our evolving understanding of change in education:

There is a need to examine the reasons for holding traditional practices too dearly or closely. Delivery methods must change to accommodate learning styles. Students are technologically savvy as they come from homes with internet connections. Educators must adapt their teaching styles to howstudents may prefer to receive information. Those invested in educating the children and youth must understand thatpreparing for aproductive life is a preface to individual happiness. When students are told that they have failed, they are cast off and subjugated.
In a departure from tradition, the instructional team must make a determination as to which students will be with whichstaff for the variety of activities they will be involved in. Instructional teams mustpossessauditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile instructionaldelivery techniques and modes since students may need different learning environments.
Most teachers expect learning to be internal but this only addresses students that prefer visual and auditorymodes of learning. Other studentsprefer tactile and kinesthetic modes and may bechallenged in classrooms where teachers do not adapt or vary their delivery methods.Student learningstylescan change but only when students are so motivated.This requires that their needs be addressed in a positive manner. Intrinsic students can do wellwith their own acceptance as individuals, recognition for whatever task they have accomplished, timestructure, or acceptance of their convictions. Extrinsic students will do well with playful contact, speedy achievements, or solitude.If their needs are not satisfied in a positive manner, students will be predictably distressedand distracted and eventually their teachers will fail to accomplish or successfully conclude any intended positive learning activities. To address such negative behavior on part of the students, teachers should be able to understand the students’ requirements for learning and theirpreferences and must be accommodative towards the same.
Standardized tests may not demonstrate broader proficiency. With due regard to teacher knowledge and preparation, student assessment can be a much more holistic exercise so that it does not just measure student learning by criteria which their teachers establish. Instead of accepting teachers’ assessment without any question, student progress must be assessed in a much more objective manner. If, based on their assessment,studentsseemfully geared up for what would follow or further course of learning, let them go ahead; if they are not prepared for it,just strengthen what they have learned and fix only those areas where improvements are warranted. 



•    Michael Gilbert, (2013) "A plea for systemic change in education", On the Horizon, Vol. 21 Issue: 4, pp.312-322, https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-12-2012-0041

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