Governor Jindal’s overall policies haven’t made being a Louisiana resident any easier and this latest controversy over education, so late in summer, isn’t helping students or teachers any; September is just a blink of an eye away. Education is a tough subject to tackle because even the “experts” do not seem to agree over policies, methods or financials. My own experiences in school, from grade school all the way through university, do not help me, in terms of providing answers, as to the best way to teach a variety of individuals with different socio-economic backgrounds and different learning abilities. I do believe that teaching is a calling and that we do not give our teachers the respect, the support or the financial compensation that they deserve. From everything that I have read, I would tend to agree with those who are against the Common Core, if only because of its predominant reliance of massive testing as the only means of evaluation; I think that teaching to the test shortchanges students in the learning process and provides a limited education in the long run. I was very lucky growing up, I was equally comfortable taking standardized tests as I was taking essay tests or writing papers for my classes, not everyone had the same experience, so is it right to penalize the students who aren’t easily taught? I think not. There are many who experience panic attacks when confronted with tests, yet give them an essay and they will shine. All of this controversy over the Common Core, not only in Louisiana, reveals that we still aren’t sure what exactly constitutes successful teaching and learning, how to facilitate the conduits between the two, because in the final analysis, it is that relationship between the teacher and her/his student that must be open and fluid for the exchange of knowledge, information and feedback to take place. Learning and teaching are both subjective and I think that is why it is so hard for us to figure out a game plan.
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