Teaching methods need an update, real-life application

April 4, 2016

Abbie Stillman
astillma@uccs.edu

A few weeks ago you turned your clocks forward one hour, but, for just one moment, I want you to go back.

You’re in first grade. You are creating art projects daily, learning about dinosaurs, making little books for your parents and experiencing other hands-on activities.

Notice that you’re not just reading to learn, as we do in the classroom today.

Our education starts with mostly hands-on activities, which includes asking questions about anything that pops in our heads. But as we grow up these concepts vanish.

Are we really benefiting from this style of education?

We should understand that not everyone learns the same. Some of us learn by reading textbooks, watching documentaries or asking questions to further our understanding.

UCCS needs to offer alternative teaching techniques.

If a student has dyslexia, you may want to give them less to read to not overwhelm them, which might lead to them feeling stupid.

I grew up with dyslexia, A.D.D., social anxiety and depression. These diagnoses don’t help your learning abilities; it’s that much harder to earn decent grades. If your teachers are unable or unwilling to work with your ‘differences,’ you’re not going to learn much.

There needs to be a fundamental change in how classrooms and lectures are organized. This must go right to the steps of Washington. We don’t learn the same way we did back in the 1980’s, and who’s to say that system was the best anyway?

I am very lucky to have parents who wanted me to be successful in a school environment and find a school that could teach me in a way I could comprehend the material. I started earning A’s and B’s in classes where I didn’t think that would be possible.

I had teachers offer us several different options for an assignment, allowing us to pick what worked best for us and go from there.

This enabled us to use our creativity and make the assignment more applicable. Learning should be fun, and teachers should try to allow students more freedom with their lessons.

A big part of the issue is the schools that offer these alternative learning styles tend be quite costly. Many people cannot afford the prices of these schools and basically get screwed over.

In “Good Will Hunting,” a brilliant young man dubbed a genius was discovered by a professor. He had no money and a lengthy rap sheet, but could reiterate an entire novel if you asked him too. Once his genius was discovered, the government jumped at the opportunity to hire him.

Life will always provide vastly more educational value than a classroom. Field trips and other school related activities that involve life experiences are crucial for learning.

Teachers and professors might want to consider having students find life experiences for class credit or have them complete projects and papers on what they have experienced.

Learning should be fun and exciting. Typical lecture courses might offer some fun aspects, but it would be nice to see teachers try to be more creative with lesson plans.

We would all benefit more from hands-on learning.