Shaping the youth of today is much harder than it was in the times when our parents were in our shoes. With so many new technologies, concepts, and methods of learning, the ways of old are no longer relevant. The minds of the youth today are much more optimistic such that it has gotten harder to confine them within the four walls of schools of old.
Today’s students need so much more motivation to learn. Getting students involved with hands on experience in their field is very pivotal in this era. It is hard to capture the attention and interest of the youth of today, especially with what has become the standard method of teaching. With a desire to be the best at what they want to do, along with a hunger to know their craft or interest well before they really get in to it, today’s youth cannot stay in a classroom for fifty minutes taking in the teachings that their parents received.
Speaking from experience, I benefited greatly from a lot of the “hands-on” experience I received during my high school career. I attended a very intimate Charter High School for Architecture and Design where the atmosphere can only be described as “free.” Through many programs I participated in, I was able to garner a lot of pertinent knowledge needed to be successful in my field of interest and most importantly, in the working world.
Through my current job, I was recently able to interview the principal of one of Philadelphia’s largest inner city schools. When asked the question “why do you lose so many students to the drop out epidemic,” she boldly answered, “The students quickly lose interest in the education that the district provides—we are in need of ‘hooks,’ things that will intrigue the students and motivate them to learn.” She has students so interested in getting acclimated with many of the new technologies and an even greater number interested in gaining “out of school” experience prior to attending college.
Looking at many of the statistics pertaining to drop outs and failures in schools, “why do we need different forms of school and schooling?” The students are asking for it. The times of this world have drastically changed and so must schools. My vote goes toward creating new (smaller) schools, learning from the Web and community, and the domination of student interests. I look forward to change.