One Size Fits Who?

One of my biggest pet peeves is knowing a detailed plot line of a movie before you actually watch it. I would much rather go into the movie not having a clue as to what I should expect. It seems that when you have preconceived ideas of the plot, you end up not enjoying it and losing the element of surprise. I signed up for this class on a complete whim – nobody had recommended it to me and I have no connection with the School of Education. So in the same manner as I would prefer to watch a movie, I arrived on the first day with no idea of what to expect. I only knew that I was passionate about education and eager to learn more about its roots.

We are now on week number four of our class, “The Politics of Reading,” and I’ve blown away by the impact that this one class has had on my outlook of education in America. Just like watching a new, unknown movie, my lack of expectations allowed me to be completely open-minded to the material that is significantly expanding my knowledge and curiosity in the education system.

I grew up going to a private school, a fact that I was very hesitant to share in a class on public education. Honestly, it was only last week in class that I quietly mentioned it during a small group discussion. I think my hesitation stemmed from the fact that I’m slightly ignorant of some of the standing education policies that truly make no sense. Although I’ve heard of many of the names in passing, I didn’t really know what they were or how they actually affected students, since my private school was not held to all the same procedures. In some ways, it has been a good thing to look at these policies from an “outsider’s” point of view. It has also allowed me to engage in a lot of reflection on the rules that structured my own education.

The biggest theme that I’ve pulled away from learning about education policies, thus far, is that there is most definitely no such thing as “one size fits all” education plan. The fact of the matter is that students, and teachers, and schools, and cities, and regions, and all of the other barriers that create distinctions between us, necessitate a need for specified, educational instruction. It is impossible to dictate ONE functional and practical education plan on a national level. That being said, I think that education policies should be developed by a smaller division than at the national level and a variety of school styles should be available to best accommodate the diversity of students. (There are a ton of other changes that should probably be made, but this seemed like a reasonable amount to tackle for now!)

I plan to go into more detail next week about why I think these changes should be made, but today, I just wanted to emphasize the importance of breaking down the “one size fits all” structure to which we have found ourselves chained. Before I step forward in understanding (and sometimes criticizing) the existing policies, I felt I needed to take a step back and explain my personal experience with the education system. I’m really excited to see where this class will lead my thoughts on education – hopefully I can continue to gain an understanding and appreciation for these extremely important policies in our society.

Carlton

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4 Responses to One Size Fits Who?

  1. leighahall says:

    Thank you for starting to talk about your experiences with attending private school. I hope you will start to say more as you see connections. Private schools are not effected by public school policies unless they choose to enact them. This makes private schools very different places – but helping people become aware of these differences is very important. One reason for attending private schools is to avoid the policies implemented in the public schools. Private schools have more freedom which, if used well, can be very beneficial for students.

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  2. kellyeb2015 says:

    I have always wanted to be in the field of education. However, I have also always been biased against private schools mainly because I did not know that much about them. I attended public school my whole life, and I think it is wonderful to begin to learn about private schools from somebody who has attended one. I appreciate you sharing some of your experience about private school, and I completely agree that one size does NOT fit all people. Everybody is different, and accommodations should be made to help as many students as possible.

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  3. bgaudette says:

    I totally understand your hesitation about talking about private school. As I mentioned in class last week I went to private Catholic school preK-12. Sometimes it can feel awkward saying this, especially in education classes focused on education. I never experienced many of the issues that I talk about in class. I loved school resources were never a problem, so often times I do feel like an outsider. I appreciate this outsider point of view however because I know what a good school is supposed to look like.

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  4. haileynt1023 says:

    I went to a private school as well! It’s interesting because I never really saw a huge difference in the education I was getting and that of a lot of my public school friends. The more I learn about the policy however, the more I wonder how it can possibly fit every school. I definitely agree with you statement that policy should be decided on a smaller scale but of course, implementing this kind of specific change is difficult. I look forward to hearing your ideas in the future!

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