If I had the authority to change my school in a positive way, I would change the way that students are taught and graded on their knowledge. In many classrooms, the same techniques are used to teach all the students. This leaves some of the students doing exceptionally well while others struggle to understand the same material. Another area of classroom study that should be changed is testing, both how they are administered and how students who have failed are treated. To make school more effective for all kids, it is important to cater to their specific learning styles, change the way students are tested, and give children who do not excel at a test extra help to catch them up with the class.
There are seven types of learning, including verbal (linguistic), logical (mathematical), aural (auditory-musical), visual (spatial), physical (kinesthetic), social (interpersonal), and solitary (intrapersonal). Most students can learn well in just 3-4 of these categories. Imagine that student A uses solitary, visual, and physical methods of learning. If a teacher gives lectures, which caters to aural skills, this student is not going to learn as well as they would with presentations. A solution in this case would be to provide slides that cater to student A, who can learn visually, in addition to a verbal presentation that caters to some other student’s learning styles.
For some students, tests can be nerve-wracking. Even when they have spent weeks studying, they may freeze up at the time of the exam or forget the material they studied. For other students, testing is a natural ability and they can study the day before a test and earn an A. The result is that students are tested on how well they test, rather than the materials being studied. Teachers should not place so much emphasis on tests and instead focus on homework and group projects.
Another issue in the classroom is what happens when a student fails a test or does not understand material. At the end of a test, teachers may review before moving onto the next topic for the class to learn. The students that do not understand may be left behind and confused with the next topic, especially if the next topic expands on the last subject taught. Instead, teachers should have sessions with students who scored poorly to make sure they understand the material before moving onto the next section.
A personalized learning classroom would help more students succeed. As these students reach the end of their school career, they will become active members of the community. The students who have been taught how to excel will move on to success, creating a better world. It is important that teachers start to acknowledge their students individual learning styles, administer tests in a better way, and push the students who are struggling to succeed so that society has a better future.