Education Issues

While doing my research, I learned about many issues in schools all over the country. Mainly the problems are caused by lack of funding in the public school system. For example, many schools crave new technology for their students to help them advance in learning, but their school can’t afford it.

Also, there are many debates going on about how children should be taught. Obviously, the “norm” is to lecture and teach at school and test students on the material. However, many new teaching methods are emerging and schools can’t decide whether they should continue the way that they are teaching, or test out these new methods, possibly at the detriment of the students. To conclude, the decision on how to teach students is a difficult one, because children’s futures may be endangered if they are not properly taught.

Not only is the decision about how to teach an issue, but educating kids is an issue in and of itself. Every day, 7,000 – 8,000 teenagers drop out of high school; 36% of them in just 9th grade. Also, 90% of jobs in this country will not hire high school dropouts. Some reasons why kids drop out are the fact that they are failing, they don’t enjoy school, they think it will be easier to just get their GED, or they had to work instead of attend school. In order to fix this problem, I think that schools should begin programs that help the kids that feel as if they should drop out, by encouraging them and helping them make a plan for the future. However, this is not realistic due to the lack of funding in the school system.

All in all, kids dropping out of school is a major problem, and something must be done to help them.

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Perceptions of Different Cultures

I found the activity that we did today — Heelotia, a cross-cultural simulation — to be quite interesting and educational. I helped me realize that being immersed in different cultures can create conflict and confusion, even if everyone is doing what they think to be right. For example, I was a Hokie, and when I “traveled” to Heelotia, there was lots of confusion. I wanted to speak to someone, but in my culture a handshake was necessary to begin a conversation. The Heelots were not allowed to touch me, so it created conflict.
The same situation may happen quite easily all over the world. If someone travels to a place that they have never been to before, the could easily break the rules of the society without even knowing it. In our ever-changing world, it is quite important for people to be able to learn about other cultures, so that may remain open minded and well educated. I feel that culture should be taught more in our foreign language classes, so that we can stay up-to-date on global cultures. If we do not know about any cultures but our own, we will become close-minded and disconnected from the rest of the world. If this happens, interaction with other countries and cultures will become quite difficult, which will affect our own culture economically, politically and it will even affect our own culture.