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improve education speech - Printable Version

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improve education speech - fishpit - 02-05-2010 12:29 AM

In english we have to write and present persuasive speeches (due quite soon Dead). I picked the obvious topic of 'improving education'. My argument so far is schools should allow students the option to independently study some subjects, instead of going to classrooms i.e. coming up with their own education plan/cirrucluum. Is this too specific? Maybe I should I go for a broader argument of education reform?

Supporting points for independent study argument I've thought of (what do you think?) I definitely need more argument towards emotion:
Hidden stuff:
-People learn differently. Some people learn better on their own than listening to a teacher lecture.
-People have different goals and interests. Some people may never use trig or literature analysis. Independent study would allow students to put less emphasis or more emphasis on particular subjects according to their goals = less time wasted on 'learning' things you'll forget later = closer to goal
-Internet. Websites, links, ebooks, online courses, etc means the student can use computers to gain access to a huge source of knowledge. Makes independent learning even more feasible than it was a decade ago.
-Doesn't staying a classroom 6 hours a day feel draining and passive? for ex, a combination of independent learning and traditional classes makes students more active in their learning and hence, they feel less tired
A few Con arguments and comebacks
Hidden stuff:
-Students will waste their time during independent study.
When students realize they have more flexibility over their learning, instead of sitting passively and always being told what to do, they will have a greater interest in learning.
-Current system of learning in classrooms all the time works. no need for change since lots of people graduate high school via learning traditional way
current system assumes students are all the same. students are expected to fit into the mold of school, following the school standards and what the school thinks is the best learning method for the student. What if students could play a much greater role- in shaping that mold, learning in a way that is best for them, with school and others facilitating that process? Yes, people graduate via learning through traditional method but the option of more independent learning would result in students having greater decision over what they want to learn, and thus give them a clearer view of future goals (does this even make sense lol)
-colleges have lectures, which is basically listening to someone talk . this is similar to learning in a classroom, since one is listening to a teacher. so, independent learning time will make students unprepared for structured college life/learning
err..need a comeback here

I have no clue on how to flesh all this into a epic persuasive speech without offending school people too much. maybe I should reduce my supporting points? Help would be great. Oh and I wish my school could allow real independent learning :( if only...

Re: improve education speech - fishpit - 02-07-2010 12:27 PM

well i think it makes more sense to double post- here's my draft of the speech:
Hidden stuff:
Sitting in a classroom. Listening to the lecture. Some students love the class. Some find the class too challenging or too easy. Some wonder why this class is mandatory. What you see here is the face of modern education. We students go to classrooms and learn from teachers. Often we have to fulfill specific course requirements. This system, having endured the test of time, has worked for numerous students, including CA students. Lots of people graduate by this traditional method of learning and move on to lead great lives. However, this method of learning in classrooms assumes that students must learn the same way, that students must learn from a structured curriculum. But what the school thinks is best for the student may not be the same as what the student thinks is best for him or herself. Schools should give students the option to plan their own curriculum and if fitting, independently study subjects.

First and most obviously of all, everybody is different. For example, we learn in a variety of ways- visually, spatially, kinesthetically, verbally, musically. There are students who do well under the direct supervision of teachers. There are students who do well learning on their own. And of course there are students who fall somewhere in between the two. Even in learning how to read, we can see that individuals take different approaches. such as: Learning the sounds of words, phonics or syllables. Being read to. learning from street signs or games. Our ways of learning differ dramatically. Yet in a typical classroom, it is difficult to accommodate the potentially huge range of learning styles. Allowing students to independently study a subject through their style of learning results in more customized, efficient learning for each student. The students who like to learn in classrooms can then receive more individual attention. Teachers also waste less time trying to interest students who learn better outside of classrooms. Everybody wins.

Another thing that differentiates students is their interests and goals. Some of us will completely forget the cosine rule after high school. Similarly, some of us will not analyze literature in our future jobs. Independent study would allow students to put less emphasis or more emphasis on particular subjects according to their plans. So what happens? Students waste less time learning things they will forget later. More time can then be spent on their interests, bringing them closer to their goals and dreams.

On the other hand, some may argue teachers teaching students is the only way to for students to learn. This argument, however, turns a blind eye to the vast sources of knowledge that exist in this world. Quite a large amount of this knowledge comes at little or no cost. For instance, you are probably all familiar with a place called the library. One can easily borrow books and other materials at the cheap price of zero yen. The internet offers even more knowledge. Websites can contain text, images, videos, interactive applications, and/or online classes, accommodating a wide range of learning styles . The internet truly makes personalized, independent learning even more feasible. Others may argue that students will waste their time during independent study. Images of students playing games or using face book comes into mind. But when students realize they have more flexibility over their learning, instead of always being told what to do, their motivation and love for learning will rekindle. Teacher don't necessarily have to teach, but can instead act as facilitators, advising students about their goals and learning path.

Although the current system of educating all students in classrooms has its merits, we can not ignore the indisputable truth that every individual is unique, that every individual learns differently, and that every individual has his or her own passions. Individualized learning offers the best way for every student to reach his or her own potential. With the rise of the internet, this need not be difficult . Giving students greater freedom over deciding what they learn and how they learn is clearly the way forward. In the mean time, I urge you all to thoroughly examine what you have learned in school and outside of school. Think about how you can improve your experiences. Do not think about fitting into the confining box of school. Think about how you can break that box and expand yourself beyond the cracks you have made. After all, ..It is your future .

any suggestions?
on second thought, maybe I should also post this in the youth rights board or something...

Re: improve education speech - SoulRiser - 02-08-2010 08:06 AM

You might find some more ideas here:


Or, more specifically:

^ Those really exist. And they work.

Re: improve education speech - McGee! - 02-17-2010 05:49 AM

Maybe include some examples of people who have succeeded through unschooling or somthing?