I don't think you are being an old crotchety bastard by saying that. Oh...did I inject new descriptors? I just wanted to say crotchety.
I try to stay away from generalizations. Blanket labels and policies are a major part of the problem. Having just sat through a summer pre-cal course, my objective isn't to run through the steps, but to actually UNDERSTAND what is happening. I am a visual thinker. I need explanation such as those that line the wiki entry for the pythagorean therem
. That's not what I get. What I am faced with are teachers who don't know how to teach. Regurgitating what is in the book will not suffice everyone.
This is not to say that teachers are the only reason. I would like to think that the majority of the teachers are great at what they do. Part of the problem is the system. Reduced funding, and not giving them the resources they need in order to teach falls on the local and federal government. Conversely, a student may have a great teacher, but lack the support of the guardians to succeed. Sometimes, it is just a matter of dual income or single-parent families and the inability to MAKE (or even be able to make) time to sit down with their child and help.
In the interest of making sure I do not apply blanket terms, education is a dynamic environment, as is insufficient learning progress. I think each student's strengths and weaknesses should be looked at on an individual basis. Our current system does not allow the time for a student to be given a clear assessment before they have left a teachers classroom for the year. Next year, the new teacher must start from scratch.
It is a challenge to teach today. I'm not a teacher. I could be wrong. But I would like to teach one day. And as I am going through my education, I make it a priority to absorb what I am going through my own education in the physics and engineering field, and devise methods to teach visual thinkers like myself. I think everyone deserves the right opportunity to be taught how our world works. I truly believe everyone can understand it, if they are taught the right way.
I'm sure someone will find fault in something I've said. But I have an idea, and I am moving forward with it.