The question of how education has changed depends on the various dimensions of how we look at education as a whole. For instance, if you reflect on education to mean one having the chance to learn and plan for his or her future you will realize education has not changed much, but if think about the changes in the approaches, methods or techniques of teaching in education a lot has changed. Over the years as it seem we tend to learn almost the same materials, but how teachers impart knowledge to students is totally different from way back. School is not as much of an occupation as it used to be back then, teachers are a lot more lenient on students than they were 60 years ago and more so education used to appear like a military camp but at present it is a day camp.
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It is evident that educational change in the Schools more specifically educational systems is seen by many to be an important part in the advancement of every individual and the entire society. Through the involvement with the educational system, each person’s individual skills potential, abilities and skills are harnessed and developed further to be used as his or her tool for attaining bigger things in life in definite facets such as exploration , innovation , progress and many others.
The incorporation of computers in the learning and education system is evidently the greatest change in education. When we take a look at the new technology accessible to all teachers today and how they educate, then everyone will agree that the accepted way to teach in education has changed. It is undeniable that education has evolved a so much considering the diverse ways of education and teaching making progress since the 1900’s. Technology has opened up the world for a lot to be expected from school children although students get a lot lazier as technology gets stronger, information is at their finger tips.
Back then in the 1930’s the use of record players, tape players (reel-reel), ditto machines, filmstrip or reel to reel projectors, radios and televisions were common instruments that teachers used in their teaching lessons. Today computer have become the dominating factor in education, students can do their own research on the internet, web-based sites for content instruction and also individualized instructions’ sites. The use of black boards, white boards and chalk has been replaced with smart boards, LCD projectors, video streaming and document scanners. Even the students with ear impairments have access to Dynovox Fm system machines that helps boost the hearing capability. All these has enabled students to proceed with learning at their own pace, being able to replay audio lectures or video clips and more conveniently slow learners do not slow down their classmates (Fullan, 2001).
Today the three Rs (reading, riting and rithmetic) have gone digital. The classroom has totally transformed from the normal one room school house to a completely virtual classroom. The advent of electronic learning and distance learning has changed teaching and the function of a teacher from a disseminator of information to that of a facilitator of education. An electronic technology has progressively transformed the interaction between the teacher and the student. For most of the 20th century, distance learning entailed the use of pen and paper, typewriters and postal service providing the sole link between the teacher and the student. Currently it has become possible to transmit educational programs, courses and content using the World Wide Web and satellite.
Changes in courses offered and the curriculum
In the 1950s, most academic institutions had specific core academic, vocational and business courses that were available to students. More interestingly students required not more than 18 units to graduate and no guidelines to ones choice of career. All these has changed since academic institutions have more regent, advanced placement and increased selection of courses. Furthermore, students have access to career guidance, technical education in agriculture and natural sciences; health, technology, human and public services, mechanical trades, construction trades, new visions options and pre-vocational programs. Nevertheless, individuals that teach these new set of courses of study are always more calm and try to converse to their students in ways they understand (Bhunia, 2008). With diverse ways of training progressing ever since the 1900’s, explains how education process is changing as well.
Not long ago teachers would choose how to tutor their students, they would use same ways that they were taught or how they consider best. Today there is a big difference since we have more guidelines that teachers must follow. A number of ideas are restricted and some taught. If one could do an experiment and ask all English teachers at one middle school you will get a uniform response of what they are teaching their pupils at a particular grade level. Today students have definite curriculum they need to learn hence teachers have limited opportunity to defect and teach their own method or add what they perceive to be important to the students education in the curriculum. Corporal punishment that dominantly existed in the early days of education in different states is a thing of the past as the student learns mature ways of being corrected in many educational and learning environments.
State mandates in education
It is evident that currently state governments have greatly contributed in the betterment of the education systems. Various legislation like the, No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), have immensely promote accountability on the part of the parents to take their children to schools without discrimination of any manner. There is an increased set state academic standard and the implementation of state academic assessment have replaced standardized exams that were determined by individual districts long ago. These new legislations have enabled the inclusion of children with disabilities in general education classes and also mandated to take state assessments. The launching of response to intervention has made it possible for students to be diagnosed and get increased levels of targeted support and also the use of research based instruction models in all classrooms.
However, various governments in some continents have decided to initiate programs that allow free access to quality education for all its citizens (Strayer & Evenden, 2007). In the past it was an issue of how financially capable are you in order to get the desired education, this made poverty an excuse for so many families who never take education for their children seriously. Stiff penalties and even prosecution to serve long jail terms for the culprits are some of the measures taken by various state governments to try and send a message of how important education is. Generally, the attainment of universal education for all children in literacy is the most current development occurring in many countries.
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Early and extra involvement
In the early times, kindergartens were in most instances privately owned and were never housed in the public schools settings and even worse there were no summer programs or even educational review programs for school starters. The scenario is totally different today as kindergartens are now housed in public schools and even various states are leaning towards mandating full day kindergartens across the board. Review and summer programs have been introduced at a very tender age in order to shape and identify a child’s abilities, skills and capabilities early enough so as to act as a basis for the child’s development.
Changes in teaching models and activities in the education system
Cooperative teaching whereby several classes of same grade or level are combined with one teacher handling the lessons and another one acting as an aide or an assisting teacher has turned out to be a common part of today’s learning. In the past very few students with special needs or disabilities were incorporated in public school, these has however changed as currently students with special needs are being mainstreamed in big numbers into the general education classroom. The method of looping teachers is also practiced today. For many years students were subjected to new and different teachers every year or after completion of a class and level grade, this has changed as a teacher is allowed to continue monitoring the progress of his or her class for more than two or more years as it fosters a better understanding and bonding between the students and the teachers thus improving in academic performance (Eliot, 2009).
Remedial reading and holiday tuitions have nowadays turned out to be the new strategies for various schools in improving the student and general school performance as interschool competitions has greatly increased in order to secure the best overall and national ranking. Distance learning, small group instruction outside classroom, availability of academic resources like school library, overtime and practical way of teaching has been included in today’s education system.
Currently almost every school offers transport services for their students as school buses pick them up in their individual homes. In fact today most parents are more involved in the academic welfare of their children as on many occasions parents drop and pick their children to school. In the past the students never had a variety of extracurricular and co-curricular activities to choose from. At present students have a variety of activities to get involved in for instance sport like athletics were regarded as a men’s activities but this has since changed as girls are getting more involved. Entertainment and leisure sessions are now allowed in many academic institutions, this has enabled students ease their minds from the repetitive nature that is involved in education.
As it is commonly aware to everyone today, education has no limits or restrictions as regards to individuals who want to further their studies. In the past occupational commitments and even age factor were enough to stop one from seeking or upgrading his or her level of education. This has however changed as many people are taking study leaves and recess, even most organizations and employers are increasingly encouraging their worker to further their studies in order to acquire job promotions. We are able to see the changes in the education systems with the development of new aspects such as financial assistance, bursaries for the poor and even scholarships. New facilities, modern equipments and technology are today being introduced to help cope with the fast influx of student population in academic institutions.
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