What Makes Good Education? The Quality Difference Explained
Education is the cornerstone on which the entire rest of a society stands. The
quality of our education, from kindergarten all the way to university,
is the determining figure in how the people of a society negotiate with the
world and rise to meet its challenges.
Education is the basis on which the entire rest of a society stands. The quality of our education, from kindergarten all the way to university, is the determining factor in how the people of a society deal with the world and rise to meet its challenges. It is even more important to us now when schools are grossly underfunded. But what does quality mean?
Looking At Results
The best way to see whether our education system is working or not is to look at the results - Are the kids learning? It's not enough to do standardized testing. We need to see that they're becoming responsible, socially aware and able to deal with the challenges of making their way in life. One important aspect of this that can't be measured by testing is critical thinking. This is the ability to think deeply using a variety of skills including rationality, self-awareness, open-mindedness and discipline. It gives kids the ability to solve problems and make good judgments. Quality education teaches kids to think critically and evaluate situations that confront them objectively.
Good schools offer their teachers lots of support. This comes in the form of praise, but also in the form of criticism that helps the teacher improve their skill. Like their students, teachers must always continue learning. In good schools, there is plenty of classroom observation and discussion among teachers regarding techniques, educational strategies and peer evaluation. If they can identify each other's strength and weaknesses, this will lead them to being more productive in the classroom. Quality learning requires this kind of teacher support, even when the school system's funding isn't enough.
Another important sign of quality in education is the array of resources available to kids. This includes not only textbooks and other learning materials, but increasingly also means computers. The personal computer has become an essential part of classroom learning. It makes learning fun and interactive, and also gives kids skills they'll need in the future. As high school students near graduation, learning how to use computers helps them prepare for their future career, since nearly every career uses computers in some capacity. These days, technology in the classroom has become a sign of quality.
Helping Kids With Special Needs
In good schools, teachers and administrators work hard to make sure that every kid has the same chance. This means ensuring that children with disabilities, whether they are of a physical or learning nature, has their needs met. It's also important for them to identify kids who are "at risk" of slipping in their studies or having problems with other kids. Although it does cost some money, providing quality for special needs kids is something any school can do, no matter how strained its budget.
Quality learning means preparing kids for their future as adults, making sure they have all the materials they need and providing for kids with special needs. It also requires quality teachers, who need peer review in order to develop their teaching skill. Even in tough economic times, schools must maintain the highest level of quality possible.
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