Debate Magazine


By Stevemiranda

I love talking to first-year teachers.

“You know, in graduate school they talk about making it ‘personally relevant to students.’ You have to make your lesson plans personally relevant to students,” my friend Erica told me. “But how are you supposed to do that for 30 kids?”

Erica is a history teacher. She’s just finishing up her first year of teaching, at the same time she’s completing her graduate degree. So while teaching a lesson on, for example, the Civil War, she’ll ask kids a question like, “What would you do if you were in this situation?” And inevitably, kids will write something like, “I wouldn’t put myself in that situation in the first place!” Or, something else equally banal.

It’s really hard to learn anything that has no personal relevance to you. Kids are forced to take required classes in which the course content is determined by the teacher. The teacher is then charged with conjuring some way to make the course content personally relevant to each of these 30 unique individuals. It’s a set up for failure. The problem with our education system is not with impudent students or incompetent teachers. The problem with our education system is in its fundamental design.

You want education that is personally relevant to students? Here’s the secret: ask them what they’re interested in learning.

(Join the discussion at Get updates at

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • 2017 The Year Ahead

    2017 Year Ahead

    I've had a bad December, a number of minor illnesses in the family unit, Christmas holidays and quite a bit of overtime, have kind of stifled my outdoors... Read more

    By  Ashley Crombet-Beolens
  • Travel Wardrobe Recap: Paris In December

    Travel Wardrobe Recap: Paris December

    No, I hadn’t forgotten. Usually I write and post my travel wardrobe recaps immediately after my return from any trip, but I had such a backlog of Paris posts,... Read more

    By  Unefemme
  • A Stylish Contact Form For Blogger Blogspot

    Stylish Contact Form Blogger Blogspot

    #indeed_sm_wrap_4504{top : 20px;left : 20px;}#indeed_sm_wrap_4504 .ism_item{}#indeed_sm_wrap_4504 .ism_item_wrapper{display:... Read more

    By  Babanature
  • Top 10 Ways Your New Dog Will Embarrass You

    Ways Your Will Embarrass

    Congratulations, you have joined the dog owners club. But as a fully fledged member myself I have to inform you of a few things your new dog will do that might... Read more

    By  Russell Deasley
  • More Story-telling Rocks

    More Story-telling Rocks

    p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: center; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span. Read more

    By  Hollis
  • First Patch Walk of 2017

    First Patch Walk 2017

    After dropping the little lady at school for the first time this year I thought what better way to spend my first child free time in weeks out on the patch,... Read more

    By  Ashley Crombet-Beolens
  • Entartete Kunst: Degenerate Art

    Entartete Kunst: Degenerate

    Starting from 1905 and working up to a crescendo in the 1920s, German art saw an incredible flowering of brilliance in the early decades of the last century. Read more

    By  Adventuresintheprinttrade