Why Research Based Classes are Superior
I have thoroughly enjoyed the opening weeks of my Age of Exploration class. The reason I chose to take the class rather than one of the other sophomore history options was because of its focus on research and presentation. I believe learning those skill sets is far more important than the constant cramming of dates and events done in other history programs. Who really wants to learn about what happened when you can learn about why it happened?
Just like in the picture above, most kids (myself included) don’t have the patience or ability to listen to a teacher stand at the front of a room and drone on and on about what some Ph.D on the other side of the world thinks about history. Any student can create their own equally valid interpretation of history if given a chance to do so.
The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. ~Robert Maynard Hutchins
Quote taken from quotegarden.com
The true beauty of research is that it allows for students to learn what is interesting for them. It also allows for teachers to be fairer to individual students. Instead of being graded on what is right and wrong, a student can be graded on how well they did personally. If a student has a weakness, in presentation skills a teacher can see that and then can help the student to fix only what was wrong, and not try to change what went right. Research projects can also increase a student’s time management skills by giving them a deadline in several weeks rather than the next morning. Any person who wants a job in this competitive world needs to have time management skills and communication skills to be successful (the latter skill you need for every job starting with waiter all the way up to CEO).
The bottom line:
While research classes might not give a student a broad range of knowledge on lots of historical events, it does teach more important and more useful skills for the future that are great in the work force (link to an article about this below).
Gives the teacher a chance to know his or her students strengths and weaknesses and teach accordingly.
The students have a better time learning because they are their own masters.
“Texting in Class.” Photograph. The Torch. Wichita: Wichita High School South, 2010. Web. 24 Oct 2011. <http://shsthetorch.com/2010/12/dangers-of-texting-in-class-by-kaylee/>.
“Quotations About Education .”Quote Garden. Quote Garden, 05 Sep 2011. Web. 24 Oct 2011. <http://www.quotegarden.com/education.html>.