Definition Argument-AmongOthers13

Students all over the world are struggling to learn and grow due to the alarming deficit of student success in schools. The impact of the property tax unequal funding of schools is causing an achievement gap. An achievement gap refers to a persistent difference in academic performance or reaching educational goals between different groups of students (in this case, poor and rich). This achievement gap is influencing a decrease in student success all over the world, and even leads to difficulties obtaining a career in the future.

A journal from Stanford Cepa titled “The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: New evidence and possible explanations”, written by Sean F. Reardon, states that “The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five years earlier.” This means that the achievement gap is growing each and every day, simply because nobody has made any action on the issue. The journal also states that the achievement gap based off of high-income and low-income students today is nearly twice the size of the black-white achievement gap. This is astonishing news, for about fifty years ago, the black-white achievement gap was two times larger than the high-income and low-income students gap. The tables have turned in a dangerous, menacing way. Why has this happened? There are many possible explanations as to why such a detrimental gap has been formed. “The gap appears to have grown at least partly because of an increase in the association between family income and children’s academic achievement for families above the median income level: a given difference in family incomes now corresponds to a 30 to 60 percent larger difference in achievement than it did for children born in the 1970s.” Nowadays, money and where we live determine everything for our futures, even our education. Also, the gap could be so large because of parental investments in cognitive development, as said by the journal. The gap size has nothing to do with the student’s parents and their education, but more so, how much money their parents have. This is a sickening phase of education that children are struggling to grow through.

When students are not taught at high levels of quality, they have no other choice but to be given a difficult time when testing. An article from Brookings titled “Income and Education as Predictors of Children’s School Readiness”, written by Julia B. Isaacs and Katherine A. Magnuson, claims that children from low-income families “perform less well on standardized tests compared with more advantaged youth and are less likely to graduate high school and complete college.” Children that are struggling through this grow up to be financially unstable because they can not land a decent paying job, for employers often look at school records to track success.  The article states that “Children born into families at the bottom fifth of the income distribution are twice as likely as middle-class children to remain in that bottom bracket as adults.” Even if these children are capable of so much more, their education is holding them back from achieving tremendous things. The visible problem here is that education is now doing the opposite for students as what it is supposed to do- which is to ensure success while obtaining knowledge and everyday skills from attending school.

This lack of efficient schooling often leads children down troubled paths for the rest of their lives. An article from ChildFund International titled “Poverty and Education”states that “Poverty and education are inextricably linked, because people living in poverty may stop going to school so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers.”  Without these skills necessary to work, children notice from a young age that school is just a waste of time. Students dropout of school because if they are not gaining anything from attending, they could be searching for jobs to start making money to support themselves. Students need to be properly educated, but that can only happen if their schools are properly, equally funded. Poverty does not wait for anyone to “catch up”. In other words, poverty is occuring in various places all around the world, and it will not wait for families to overcome it, even if their education, and then their success for the rest of their lives, is in jeopardy. The very least we should be able to offer these children and these families is a place where they can go to get a high-quality education. Property taxes, however, are restricting them from obtaining that well-deserved education.

An article from LSU Online titled “How Does Poverty Affect Education?” states that low-income areas interferes with a child’s physical readiness, cognitive readiness, and social-emotional readiness. When a student is raised in a low-income neighborhood, odds are, their parents are struggling to provide for them. No matter how hard they work, they do not have surplus money to buy extra amounts of food, clothing, or body care products. They may even be struggling to pay the gas and water bill. If a student’s parents are constantly working, the student probably eats fast, greasy, fattening meals for dinner. This, in turn, leads to poor health, which makes their bodies prone to illnesses that are left untreated, causing more school absences. When students live in these areas, violence and crime rates are extremely high, causing children to stay indoors in fear of getting put into risky situations at parks or playgrounds. Because of this lack of exercise, students gain even more weight, becoming more unhealthy every day. So, it is vital that a student’s school provides time at recess to play or provides extra-curricular activities like sports after school. However, in low-income areas, the schools do not have enough money for after school activities. But, the high-income neighborhoods have sports teams, clubs, dance teams, choir, and much more than the low-income schools because they have more money coming into their schools. These low-income students also may face situations at home that could interfere with how they think about life. If they watch their loved one being abused, is struggling due to stress, do not have enough money, and often do not sleep well at night, they are going to remember that feeling for a long time. When they go to school, they will still have those memories and feelings in the back of their minds. The school atmosphere does not make them forget because it is not at a high level of education. The school does not have enough tools, papers, technology, or exercises to keep the children’s minds off of what could be happening at home. Due to the lack of focus, the students also perform poorly in school. They will isolate themselves from teachers and other students and will be hesitant to make relationships. On top of this, if students are not being taught an adequate amount of vocabulary per day, or if their mind is somewhere else, their cognitive development decreases. The article states, “Many students who cannot understand the words in their texts will resist reading altogether. In addition, students will refuse to participate in discussions they do not understand simply because they do not want to ask for clarification.” Children now think that because they do not understand, that they are simply unintelligent. They are afraid to look silly in front of other classmates, so they do not ask for any further explanations about lessons, which leads to poor results when testing does come. Lower-income schools has many more effects than just learning, it affects the community, the household, the children, the students, the families, and the well being of others.These ideas listed above are directly related to the achievement gap and the reasons why it has grown so vast over the last couple of decades. The achievement gap has been the ultimate division between success and failure for children all around the world.

Definition rewrite -jdormann

Can Serious Head Injuries be Prevented in American Football?

Many athletes and their families lives have been altered forever, or ended because of concussions or spinal injuries due to playing football. When a person plays a high impact sport, their chances of a life-changing injury dramatically increases. Repetitive head injuries have been proven to cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Football is a popular sport across America, and research on brain damage from playing continues to prove the dangers it has to a player’s health.

When watching a football game, at any level, spectators can expect to see powerful hits that radiate through the athlete’s head and spine. The high energy hits are thrilling for both the fans and athletes, but cumulative hits cause serious damage to the player’s health. NFL players are the highest level football players in the world, and they are the ones that receive the highest number of head injuries causing the most damage. CTE is a disease that slowly kills brain cells and will completely alter someone’s mental state and thought process. It causes increased aggression, suceptibility to dementia, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Studies have proven that playing football at a young age increases the risk of brain damage tremendously. Boston University conducted research on the damage that football has on developing players. In an article by the Washington Post, they wrote, “Those who started playing contact football before the age of 12 suffered more behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems than those who started playing after they turned 12.” This is hard evidence of the detrimental issues football can have on young players. Society needs to be careful about allowing young athletes to participate in football. Children do not fully understand how playing a sport can affect them in the long term. All football players are susceptible to serious brain injuries, but children are much more vulnerable to these life-altering injuries. As more people become aware of the dangers, they are less likely to support the game or allow their developing children to play. If there is a way to prevent or entirely eliminate concussions, people would feel more comfortable with allowing their children to play football.

The risk of concussions and serious injury are prevalent in full contact sports, but other sports do not have the same life-altering injury rate as football.Rugby does have concussions, but it is typically from improper tackling technique. Safety of the player being tackled is also of high importance. There are rules in the game that do not allow unsafe tackles. If a tackler is to spear, tackle above the runner’s shoulders, tackle a player without the ball, or lift the player from the ground, the result will be at least a yellow card removing them from the game and possibly a multiple game suspension.

Certain teams and players have adopted techniques that reduce the chances of serious head injuries. The professional football league has worked towards implementing new rules that keep players safer.Teams like the Seattle Seahawks have adopted this rugby style of tackling and it has improved player safety and tackling efficiency. The different tackling technique may not be accepted by all teams, but the game will eventually have to do something about the head injury epidemic. An article published by The Telegraph states:

Several American colleges have studied this way of tackling. The Seattle Seahawks have worked with Fijian rugby sevens star Waisale Serevi on “taking the head out of the game”. Rugby techniques have subsequently been introduced at Washington, Florida and Michigan State – whose head coach Mark Dantonio extols the benefits of rugby–style tackling.

This type of tackling emphasizes player safety and not allowing the head to be put in danger during contact. Rugby players do not wear padding or helmets, so tackling must be controlled and properly executed. The players must be cognizant of their body position and in complete control of the tackling movement. When using proper technique, athletes executing a tackle will make contact with the shoulder and drive through the opponent.

 

The way that football players tackle is careless and does not usually follow any specific technique. Players will throw their body into a tackle because their padding gives them a false sense of security. The head is not protected and there is not enough absorption of energy to protect the athlete’s brain. Young athletes are taught some techniques, but proper technique often gets thrown out the window during play.

Intense impact on the shoulder and neck area can cause a stinger. A stinger occurs when the neck is pushed to the side and the main nerve from the brain to the arm is pinched. This can cause the sensation of an electric shock or burning/stinging. Although a majority of the time this injury resolves between hours to days, it can become frequently occurring and could become a lifelong injury. In an article about stingers and the possible health hazards by Alexa Royston and Lindsay Ramey, it reads,”Terminal stingers/burners are characterized by severe neurotmetic injuries, where incomplete reinnervation may lead to permanent weakness and atrophy.” Motor weakness, loss of muscle, and paresthesia occur in extreme stinger cases. There is a number of rugby players that have had stingers, but the statistics are far less than football. The probability of stingers and nerve damage increase when the tackler and runner are playing with the false sense of security that padding gives them. When players continue to participate despite their injuries, they put themselves and others at higher risk because their technique deteriorates.

People that do not support football could argue that players accept the risk of serious injury upon participating in football, but walking away with a life debilitating injury is not a thought for any of players. A high contact, high impact sport that risks permanent injury to the brain, spine, and skeletal muscle system needs to support safer rules and techniques instead of pushing players to create bigger and harder hits.

References

Tmg. “Is Rugby or American Football More Dangerous?” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 25 Jan. 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/concussion/is-rugby-or-american-football-more-dangerous/.

Royston, A., & Ramey, L. (2013, September 20). Stingers and Burners. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://now.aapmr.org/stingers-and-burners/

Wilkerson, R. (n.d.). Our knowledge of orthopedics. Your best health. (S. J. Fischer, Ed.). Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/burners-and-stingers/

Definition Argument- tjjones123

Nation Anthem 

How many military men and veterans have to be dishonored and hurt due to the lack of respect shown to them because of the NFL?  In the last years more players are taking part of this protest and not coming out during the anthem or kneeling on the field during the song.  The argument for this act is to fight against black people getting targeted and mistreated by cops.  While I do agree that these actions need to stop between cops and black individuals kneeling during our country anthem is not the way to go about it.  More and more veterans are coming out and speaking how they fight and risk their lives and make nearly no money while these sports players get paid 100’s of millions and disrespect the people the protect them.  The NFL and officials should end this before it gets worse people have the right to protest whatever they want however, sometimes when u cross the line there should be consequences and disrespecting everything we stand for is crossing the line.

Under the constitution of the United States, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (First Amendment).  Due to the people that founded this nation, we all live free without the horrible lifestyle some other people living in other countries our faced with.  The one thing that signifies our freedom is our flag and nation anthem yet these athletes are disrespecting the one thing that sets them free.

The first change that should be made in the league is that players should not be allowed to kneel or hide during the anthem they have to come out and respect and honor those risking their life.  There are plenty of other ways they can go about expressing themselves.  As retired marine, Jeffery A. Powers said in a letter to the NFL, “I missed the ’90-’91 season because I was with a battalion of Marines in Desert Storm. 14 of my wonderful Marines returned home with the American Flag draped across their lifeless bodies. My last conversation with one of them, Sgt. Garrett Mongrella, was about how our Giants were going to the Super Bowl. He never got to see it.Many friends, Marines, and Special Forces Soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for” (Speech).  This is one of the most powerful speeches I have read in my life, and he talks the truth.  He along with millions of others feel these players are completely disrespecting the marines who died and risk their lives out in battle.

Again I do agree that all people have the right to protest, however when you are going against everything that keeps and honors our freedom there should be consequences.  With the 100 million dollar contracts most of these players sign they can organize a huge event where all the people who support the same cause can come and gather.  Disrespecting our country’s nation anthem on live TV broadcasting to millions of people needs to end or there should be something done about this.

References 

(2017, August 25). Retrieved February 13, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=8xQ1dYFa1RA

Staff, L. (2010, February 05). First Amendment. Retrieved February 13, 2018, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

Heuvel, K. V. (2015, June 29). Why It’s Always Been Time to Legalize Marijuana. Retrieved February 13, 2018, from https://www.thenation.com/article/why-its-always-been-time-legalize-marijuana/

Definition Argument—MyrtleView

The more black fashion appears in mainstream the less black, black people become.

When black fashion is pictured we start to imagine black men and women in gold jewelry, wearing Air Jordan’s, and braids. These are just three things that make black people black and it also give representation to the black community. However somewhere along the line the public–mostly white celebrities, started to notice the stylish ideas that were being created. This was not a big problem until they wore it and it was branded as there own to sell and distribute with no acknowledgment of where it really originated.  This lead to widespread cultural appropriation and people believing that they could be accepted into the black community by dressing like black person.

Black fashion has always been a political statement of freedom and fighting against oppression. According to Buzzfeed’s video 100 Years of Black Fashion, ” natural hair, Afros, and African cloth became symbols of African heritage and pride and were further popularized throughout the 1960s.” From the 1960’s and 1970’s black fashion depicted the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. Members of the Black Panther movement popularized afros and dark sunglasses. In the 1973 the greatest contribution to music was created otherwise known as the birth of hip hop. Hip hop music influenced many teens to sport bright athletic sets and loose fitting clothes. Black icons such as Michael Jackson, Salt and Pepa, and Whitney Houston brought their unapologetic style and grace to the 80’s with flaming red leather jackets and matching outfits for couples. Finally we come to the most inspirational era of black culture The 90’s. During the 90’s black women were going back into their roots and wearing a multitude of  fashionable braids. Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, and Erykah Badu influenced generations to come that it was okay to be natural and take care of black hair. In today’s era some aspects of black culture are flourishing while others are being taken advantage of completely. According to “Money flowing into the natural hair industry is a blessing and curse for those who built it up” an article on  LA Times written by Makeda Easter, in 2016 2.5 billion dollars was spent on black hair care product by black consumers. While natural hair goes up hair relaxers are taking a 36 percent dive in prices from 2012 to 2017, stated by the article “USA: Relaxer sales fall but Black hair care market is booming, thanks to natural hair movement” from the website Brazil Beauty News. Unfortunately, the more black women wear their hair out the more attention it grabs as with all black fashion.

Black fashion has always been a major factor in how black people and the world view themselves.  The black community has always suffered from the ignorance, oppression, and racism of others who saw them as less. With that being said, black people remember their history through appearances first.  The issue of black fashion becoming more mainstream is that a community of people become muffled and silenced by the others wanting to be like like them but not like them. To be truly black means to experience the hatred the world has for them and wait for the everything that is considered yours to be stolen from underneath your feet. To be truly black is to feel numb every time the news reports of another innocent black victim dead at the hands of the police. Being truly black means to be called “urban”, “hood”, “ghetto”, and “scary”. These attributes may also find there way into other minorities but they can never truly understand the pain and the hardships. The styles the black communities wear are a message all on its own that says to the  world,”I have a history and it will be recognized.”

In no way am I saying that cultures should stick to their own culture since that would be a terrible world. I am saying that if a person doses take from a culture they should definitely refer back to their cultural influence.  Many celebrities have done this in the past and have gotten away with it countless times. Even though the black community show strong disapproval towards the celebrities actions with no apology. Then the media surrounding these famous celebrities increase the exposure of these “trends”. Cultural appropriation happens when a culture, different than the culture a person is in, is worn and is not acknowledge or is demeaning for others outside that community to wear.

  1. https://www.buzzfeed.com/gustavecadet/we-showcased-black-iconic-looks-throughout-history-reminding?utm_term=.mh3PQ2kmew#.ncnvVWqbA3
  2. https://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/03/02/black-panther-party-influence-music-fashion/
  3. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-natural-hair-industry-20170809-htmlstory.html
  4. http://www.brazilbeautynews.com/usa-relaxer-sales-fall-but-black-haircare-market,2110

 

Definition Argument- Ugandanknuckles

What is a mantra, and how does it apply to self-help?

Mantras are a common self-help practice in one way or another. We’ve seen celebrities like Oprah Winfrey promote them as a method of improving our lives, but most people dismiss it as a fad that’s just going to die out like most others. However, mantras and words in general have been shown to be very powerful throughout history.

Wildmind, a site about Buddhist meditation defines mantras as “words or phrases that are chanted out loud or internally as objects of meditation” Many cultures throughout the ages have believed in the power of words whether it be for meditation or for spiritual reasons. The power of words expands beyond just Buddhism, however. Even in modern day English the connections between magic and words can be found. For instance, the word “spell” can mean both how to write a word or mystic words said to use magic. Further back in time, the words glamour and grammar share an interesting origin, all based on how words reached and evolved in different parts of Europe.

Gramma-techne was the Greek term for the science or art of letters. This came into English as the word grammar, but also came in Scots (as “glammer”) to mean “to cast a spell upon”… The word glammer was anglicized as glamour, and came to have its more contemporary romantic and aesthetic associations, where someone is able to influence us, not by the power of their words, but by the beauty of their appearance.

If we travel to India, words, specifically names, had powers of their own. It was believed that if you knew the true name of a god, then you would be able to call upon that god for help. All religions in one form or another see words as powerful. Prayer is found in many religions, and it both uses words to help us ease our minds of something we may want or hope for, and acknowledges the possible existence of a higher power.

In the modern era, mantras are popular because of how easy they appear to be. Giovanni Dienstmann, a meditation teacher and coach, helps us to better understand the thought process behind repeating a word or phrase. He says, “Sound is vibration. And all the cells in our bodies are vibrating. Everything in the universe is vibrating, and each has its own rhythm. Our thoughts and feelings are, indeed, vibrations in your body and your consciousness.” He goes on further to claim that it also effects our hormones, thinking, behavior, and our psychological well-being.

Musicians and filmmakers use sound to inspire thoughts or feelings within the listener. If you were to take ambient music out of a movie or show, you’d be surprised to find just how awkward it feels, and just how difficult it is to get into what you’re watching without the backtracks.

“Sound, rhythm and speech have profound effects on your body, thoughts, and emotions. Mantra meditation is the use of these three elements with the purpose of purifying, pacifying and transforming your mind and heart.”

Dienstmann calls mantras “instruments of the mind” that can help you change your body and psyche. For mantras to be effective, we need to focus only on the word or words so that we are no disturbed by other thoughts. It creates a peaceful feeling that can be held for as long as we can focus on just the words of the mantra.

The next step is to decide which type of mantra is right for you. There are two types, according to Dienstmann: secular and spiritual. The secular approach is for those who wish to keep their mantra usage separate from their religion, and is commonly used to try and help someone feel better, relax, or grow as a person. It’s easy to begin your meditation with mantras, you just need to find an attribute that you want to instill in yourself, see if it works for you by using it for several minutes, and then making sure it has no negative connotations. This is the more common form, and is the one you’ll see recommended by reality TV doctors and other TV personalities.

The other type, spiritual, is meant to have more meaning. There’s normally a specific religious goal, or something very specific that you’re looking to achieve. Dienstmann recommends picking, “a traditional mantra – a word or sound that has been used by spiritual seekers for centuries, with noble attitude and intention.” The usual origins for a lot of these words come from many middle eastern countries. That said, he insists that the replicating the exact pronunciation and intonation of the word or words is important since there is a specific sound vibration being looked for.

Spiritual mantras feature a more rigorous process to use than secular does.  The first step, he says, is to “Find a teacher/master of that tradition – someone you respect – and ask him or her to suggest a mantra for you.” Given that mantras aren’t popular to the common person, this can be a difficult process. Once you’ve found it though, experimentation is key. Rather than trying each one for a few minutes, he insists that you experiment with it for a few days, until you find the one that works best for you. The key difference between secular and spiritual mantras is that you must keep the mantra a secret because “sacred is secret.”

The article goes further in depth about the different ways you can use the words and what the best way to position yourself is, but we don’t really need that stuff for this. Putting all of the information together, we can say that a mantra is something that initially became popularized by Buddhist monks, but predates them by hundreds of years. The power of words can be cited in different cultures from the British Isles to India.

The two different types on mantras are spiritual and secular and each has its own uses and specific ways of practicing them. Secular being the more common one, and spiritual being the one used for people who can afford to be more committed to the practice. With a better understanding of what mantras are, how they’re practiced, and where they originated, we can better critique them and their effectiveness.

 

References

Dienstmann, George. “Mantra Meditation – The Why, the How, and the Methods.” Live and Dare, 2 Feb. 2018, liveanddare.com/mantra-meditation

Bodhipaksa. “Mantra Meditation.” Wildmind Buddhist Meditation, 2006, http://www.wildmind.org/mantras.

Definition Argument- branxmad

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disease that affects one’s ability to sustain attention and involves excessive activity and deficiencies in impulse control. Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is a lifetime disorder that is often found in the early childhood years and affects the individual throughout their lifetime. For children who are diagnosed with the disorder, it makes it difficult for them to focus in school causing them to receive poor grades, they tend to be more awkward in social settings, and performing simple everyday tasks becomes a challenge. While they are able to learn how to cope as they get older, the problem will always exist. For adults who were diagnosed with ADHD during their childhood and still experience symptoms might end up being forgetful, disorganized and overwhelmed when it comes to their daily lives and jobs. The symptoms being experienced are more frustrating as an adult because of the impact it can have on work and an individual’s personal relationships. Proper maintenance of their medication and simply learning more about their own disorder can potentially provide great help to adults diagnosed with ADHD.

I believe that in today’s times, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder is one that is overdiagnosed and often misdiagnosed. When I was 8 years old, my baby brother was diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. He showed very apparent symptoms and because I lived with him, I saw the diagnosis to be an accurate one. At that age, it seemed as if the discussion of mental disorders was taboo and my family was in denial, but of course my brother’s diagnosis appeared to be the truth because the symptoms the disorder seemed to accurately match what I saw in my brother’s behavior. When high school came around, a lot of my classmates suddenly began to claim to have been diagnosed with ADHD, as if it were a trend. When those classmates were asked why they believed they had such a life altering biological mental condition, their answers would be something like, “I can never focus in class” and “I get distracted so easily” like they were making it out to be a joke. We all get distracted and sitting through a 50 minute history class might cause one to gaze out the window and day dream or play on their phone, so I never took their claims seriously.  However, the frequency at which the topic was brought up sparked curiosity in me. It is true that more and more young children are receiving a diagnosis of ADHD and my classmates’ claims are exactly the type of claims and beliefs that lead pediatricians to make those diagnoses. While my high school classmates may have been making up stories for attention, there is no true way to know the accuracy of the growing epidemic.

The sudden increase of children being diagnosed with ADHD is growing at an alarming rate. While looking through statistical articles regarding the rise of diagnosis, I found that 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 through 17 years old have been diagnosed with the disorder in the years 2011 and 2012 alone. The prevalence rate of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity disorder between the years 2003 and 2011 went up by 35%. At the rate of which ADHD diagnosis is increasing, this disorder is now the second most diagnosed child disease, right next to childhood obesity. A study conducted in September of 2010 by the Journal of Health Economics has determined that a child’s birth month has a great impact on their likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD and their treatments. According to the study, kindergarten aged children who were born in August, otherwise known as before the kindergarten cutoff date, were said to be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those children who were born in September, after the kindergarten cutoff date. Those children born in August were also believed to be twice as likely to be treated with medications for their diagnosis. It was later found that the study could have possibly resulted in 900,000 cases of the misdiagnosis of ADHD.

Definition Argument – ChandlerBing

Learning is a complex process in which the learner constantly changes their internal understanding of how the world around them functions. The learner, most of the time, is unable to come to conclusions on their own and they need guidance from an effective instructor. To be an effective teacher, an educator must be open-minded, positive, organized, and resilient. A student that has an ineffective teacher for one year can set the student back up to three years. Traditional teaching styles have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in their curricula. The belief that all students learn at the same pace is simply not true. Each individual student has their own needs and understandings. Some students can understand the material with no problem, others need a push to get their gears turning. There are many different types of students that shine through diverse aspects of learning. For example, a student may understand a chapter of Pre-Calculus simply by reading through their textbook’s chapter. However, their peer may attain the material stronger with a visual, or hands-on approach. Each student has different past experiences that have molded how they learn, therefore, educators must throw away the one-size model and adapt to their student’s needs.

Teachers need to challenge the suppositions of their students for them to develop free thinking. In a middle school classroom, a teacher asked students to read a poem and interpret the first two lines of the poem. The first student gave her answer, but the teacher told her that was not what the author meant. When a second student answered, the teacher reminded her that she was only supposed to interpret the first two lines. When the teacher asked if anyone in the class had other ideas, not one raised their hands. This teacher conveyed to the students that there is one answer and one answer only. And only she knew the correct answer. This learning style hinders creativity, and forces students to think in a black and white matter. After the first two students were told they were wrong, the task became to find out what the instructor thought of the poem, ultimately restricting free thinking.

In a more effective environment, a 9th grade teacher asked his students to evaluate the effects of temperature and muscle movement. The students were given buckets of ice water, gauges to measure finger grip strength, and other various items to help them in their experiments. The teacher then asked a few guiding questions and let the students begin. The teacher walked around the class asking different questions to each group depending on the activities that were being performed. Even when the students were correct in their findings, the teacher challenged these suppositions and asked them to elaborate on how they got to their conclusions. The groups shared their findings with the rest of the class and some students requested to come back later that day and complete their experiments. This teacher provided guidance to the students, never giving them the answers and never telling them that they were wrong. These methods used provided the students with a deeper understanding of the material. The student’s interests were high which led them to be more engaged in the lesson and even wanting to return to their experiments at a different time.

The typical American classroom is set up for the teacher to do all the talking. A classroom is no longer revolved around learning and understanding. Moreover, students are restricted to simple memorization, left with no room for creativity or pleasure.  Educators jettison information to students and expect them to memorize key points in the lecture. The lectures are almost always in-line with the textbook used for that class. In these classrooms, students learn only one view to complex issues, inhibiting students to view the issue from all aspects of the spectrum. For example, Christopher Columbus is often taught as a respected explorer in search for a new world. The idea that Columbus enslaved thousands of Natives and eradicated most of them by bringing new diseases over, is rarely taught in the classroom. Educators must provide students with broad concepts to ponder so that they pose their own questions.

Students must take charge in their own learning. When an instructor stands in front of the classroom and lectures for the whole class period, they are essentially giving students the answers without a clear meaning. Allowing the students to interact with one another provides an effective route to the lead objective. As previously stated, all students bring their own experiences with them to the classroom. In one classroom, students were put in groups of five or six to discuss artifacts from Egypt. As the students examined the artifact, they discussed the possibilities of the different functions these objects may possess. The students were understanding the main function of the object because they were all bringing their past experiences to the light. Essentially, these students were teaching each other, working together toward a common goal.

Evaluation of student learning is difficult to measure through pen-and-paper assessments. Some students become anxious during a high-stakes test, fearing that they will fail. On the other hand, simple interaction with a student in the classroom setting is a more effective way to measure what the student understands about the lesson. In the state of New Jersey, students that graduate in the year 2021 and beyond must achieve passing scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) English 10 and Algebra portions to graduate. The teachers must prepare students for these exams, and by doing so they align their curriculum with concepts most likely to appear on the assessments. The students are just memorizing key concepts to increase their test taking skills.

Traditional teaching styles are a method of the past and have proved to be ineffective. Educators must shift their teaching methods to a more effective standard. Students should be encouraged to deeply understand the material instead of memorizing terms. This allows students to apply learned concepts in the classroom to their everyday lives. Their backgrounds form who they are as a learner and educators need to adapt their curriculum to challenge student supposition and promote creativity along with free thinking. As an educator, it is their job to guide them to the answer. A third-grade student wrote to his teacher, “You are like the North Star for the class. You don’t tell us where to go, but you help us find our way.”

 

Works Cited

Brooks, Martin. Brooks, Jacqueline. “The Courage to Be Constructivist.” The Constructivist Classroom. vol. 57, no. 3, 1999, pp. 18-24.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov99/vol57/num03/The-Courage-to-Be-Constructivist.aspx. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.

 

Brooks, Martin, and Jacqueline Brooks. In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms. Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. 1993. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/199234/chapters/Honoring-the-Learning-Process.aspx