How to Put America Back on Top in Math and Science

America’s public education system has been a hot-button issue for the past few years and for good reason — our students are falling behind other countries in most subjects, but most noticeably in math and science. While there isn’t a fix-all cure for this predicament, there are several steps our educational system could take toward solving this issue and ensuring better education for all high school students. The better educated these secondary students are, the more likely they are to succeed in college and beyond.

More Funds

Image via Flickr by Andrew Huff

This is one of the more obvious solutions. The public school system has struggled for money for years now, and little effort has been made to correct the issue. Instead, states are continuing to slash education budgets, teachers are being laid off, and students are crowded into increasingly larger classrooms to compensate for a sudden dearth of educators. If public schools receive more funding and class sizes are decreased, more classes could be offered; the smart students will no longer be bored waiting for their classmates to understand a concept they got before they even walked into class, and the students who need more time with their instructor can get the kind of individualized attention they need.

Easily Accessible Technology

If a public school is lucky enough to have up-to-date technology, teachers often have to request access weeks in advance, meaning they must plan ahead with little room for changes. Classrooms should have easy access to laptops from major brands like Lenovo with updated software and preloaded apps that can be used as educational tools. There are many inexpensive or free apps that can be helpful with math, science, and other subjects. Teachers should have access to computers, projectors, and Smart Boards as well to help augment their lessons and use multimedia to enhance explanations.

Help From Home

This step is tricky, especially for single-parent households or low-income homes where working parents don’t have the necessary time to help their children with homework every night. However, multiple studies have shown that children get better grades, attend school more regularly, and graduate more often, when their parents are involved in their education. This includes help with homework, interest in their activities, and an active understanding of how their children are doing in their classes. Students who come home and completely disconnect from their school day won’t retain as much information, but an active interest from parents can help them stay motivated to continue to learn, even outside of the classroom.

Creativity In The Classroom

Allowing teachers to be more creative in their instructional approach instead of teaching to standardized tests, or forcing children to sit in a desk, in a row, facing their instructor with limited chances to interact, will help kids become more engaged in all subjects. Showing kids how fun learning can be helps inspire them to enjoy and become more hands-on in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The more they’re interested and the more they understand, the better students they will become. Lecture style classrooms don’t work for most students, but if teachers have more freedom to change their classroom environments, students will become more invested in their education.

Less Emphasis On The Test

Every parent and child dreads it, it’s infiltrated both the mainstream and political media, and it’s a controversial issue sweeping the nation: the standardized test. This is the tip of the iceberg, but if schools could emphasize learning for learning’s sake instead of for scoring well on a standardized test, more flexibility in the classroom, more range of topics, and more student involvement would end up raising the scores in the long run. The countries that have the best math and science students overall don’t have a standardized test to jeopardize classroom time, and end up with happier, more interested students.

STEM education in high school is important for inspiring teenagers to pursue these fields after they complete school, and a robust STEM program will also keep the U.S. school system competitive on an international scale.

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Posted by on October 16, 2015. Filed under Advice,COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to How to Put America Back on Top in Math and Science

  1. Glenn Geist Reply

    October 16, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I enthusiastically agree but not only for the betterment of a student’s prospects, but for the nation’s. America’s horrifying ignorance of basic sciences and respect for scientific method is making us vary gullible when faced with pressure from special interests and hoax providers of all sorts.

    • Glenn Geist Reply

      October 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Indeed, organized religion’s opposition to anything that makes their primitive beliefs look silly is a large factor. Is the money going to bible schools and to build fake history theme parks taking away from real education?

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