The Wilson Beacon

Let students decide how to learn

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Let students decide how to learn

Graphic by Ben Wilcox

Graphic by Ben Wilcox

Graphic by Ben Wilcox

Luke Widenhouse, Contributor

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The main flaw in our education system is that students don’t get to decide what and how they learn. Education is important to increasing autonomy, reducing inequality, and creating opportunity. Education serves to give people the resources they need to live free and happy lives.

It would, therefore, be logical that students should have a say in what and how they learn, since it is the individual students who are the best judges of these things.

Yet, decisions that directly affect the classroom are made by politicians, bureaucrats, and businesspeople who cannot possibly have a complete understanding of the needs and learning methods of each and every student. The classroom itself is centered around using a single method of education, remaining obedient to a single person and memorizing facts.

Education would run far more efficiently if students had the liberty to decide how they wanted to learn the material in the classroom.

For proof that student autonomy within the classroom is beneficial, one must look no further than a 2014 study done by Stanford University assessing the impacts of an educational model called, “student centered learning.” This model places more focus on personalized learning both in and outside of the classroom, as well as on giving students access to proper resources in the community to learn.

Students under this model outperformed other schools on state tests and had higher graduation rates than non-SCL schools. This demonstrates that since individual students are the best judge of how they learn, they are better suited to making decisions on how they want to be educated than businesspeople and bureaucrats.

Granting students more autonomy within the classroom would help our education system become more efficient and better for we, the students.

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