A New Way to Educate

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve been in grade school I’m just asking, how many of you use what you learned in each of your gradeschool and highschool classes? Or how many of you knew what to do with your life after moving out on your own and graduating high school? Maybe some of you did, or maybe some of you didn’t. But what if there was a way to change those who didn’t have a plan or path post high school into a, “yes, I know my future” type of student response? The answer can be found in a free education system, something along the lines of a sudbury school- a type of school, usually for the K-12 age range, where students have complete responsibility for their own education, and the school is run by direct democracy in which students and staff are equals. The general education system right now does not benefit all kinds of students or different learning styles. Our schools around the nation right now do not make an effort to adapt to each student’s individual learning styles and that affects the way they learn and how successful they might become in life.

Research shows that in grades K-3 a smaller class size (no more than 18 students to one teacher) is the best way to achieve great academic success. (Project STAR research). So a smaller class allows teachers to teach more efficiently to those students with different learning styles. According to a group of education and technology veterans in the United States, “it is important for educators to understand the differences in their students’ learning styles, so that they can implement best practice strategies into their daily activities, curriculum and assessments”. Although there are some teachers across the nation who address more learning styles than others who stick to just one, not all students experience learning the way they need to. Those students just push through and hope they remember just enough, for long enough, to hopefully pass “the test.

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” Then they forget everything they learned for that test. According to Art Kohn, a cognitive neuroscientist “[o]n average [students] will forget 50% of what they ‘learned’ within an hour, and 70% within 24 hours”. This is due to the students not engaging in the learning style being taught at hand. Now cost. That’s the main reason we continue to stick to the education we have, and that should not be the thing holding us back from giving children the education they deserve and need.

In public schools in the U.S. we spend about $10,000 per pupil per year. Now at The Clearwater School, a sudbury school located in the Seattle area, the average tuition (for a 5 days a week schedule) is only about $8,000 a year and can be reduced if you are unable to pay, or if you have more than one child attending the school. I guess this suggests that a sudbury school is private, but that is not the case for all, it varies from school to school.

Now that is a lot cheaper, and most Sudbury schools are non-profits, meaning all the money that is being made is being put right back into the school. Even though the tuition into a school like a sudbury school can be expensive and not doable for all families; the tuition cost can be lowered and can be payed off through a payment plan. Not only will this change increase test scores, it will decrease the cost of schools overall, and it will help students become independent and give them a good education, one they so desperately deserve. It will benefit all aspects of society. So the answer to our not so good education system, a sudbury school environment.