A Reading into the Public Education Standards: Reimagining Learning for Elementary Students
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The effects of standardized testing on how elementary schooled children learn, and more specifically, on how they interact with their interests are becoming more noticeable and problematic. When reading a given text, students learn to look for specific information, define certain terms, and understand themes; yet, they are not encouraged to find meaning, connection, and application. Education has become a checklist of required thoughts and ideas rather than a springboard for imagination and an understanding of the world. The standards that have been adopted by most school systems in the United States are effective in making sure each generation learns what is of value to the policymakers, but they can hardly encourage creative thinking and imaginative learning. I will discuss the Montessori, social-learning, and literature-based approaches. I will then try to imagine how standardized testing could be implemented effectively while still allowing for less educational restrictions. I will discuss various ideas for how to achieve this balance. Finally, I will begin to look at how new methods could be implemented into local public-school systems.