Education plays a significant role in national and individual development. It opens an individual’s mind and exposes the person to career and personality development (Farr 2010). The need to have an effective academic curriculum pushes nations to invest in research to establish the best approach to improve learning. However, various impediments pose serious threats to the development of effective teaching techniques that will promote learning. This essay presents a SWOT analysis of a case study about the effects of a poorly structured education system and how to improve the development and performance system for teachers.
Case Study: Texas Performs Poorly in High School Diplomas
Research conducted by the Brookings Institution revealed that Texas City is ranked last in terms of students pursuing high school diplomas and other degree programs (Theevenot 2010). This is a shocking revelation given that this city has the finest learning institutions and qualified teachers from recognized colleges and universities.
The results showed that this trend is replicated in other cases where there were a small number of people who possessed university or college degrees. The percentages are as follows 79.6 %, 22.6%, 6.3%, 25.3%, and 8.3 % in high school, some college, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and graduate degrees respectively. A senior officer at the Brookings Institution, Alan Berube, claims that these results have nothing to do with the quality of education or institution offered in Texas City (Theevenot 2010). He believes that the high number of immigrants is to blame for this situation.
The above results have served as a notice to policymakers and stakeholders concerning the role of teachers in improving the transition of students from high school to college and university. Even though, most people blame teachers for this poor performance Berube believes that most people who participated in the research were immigrants from Latin America and Mexico (Theevenot 2010). They did not have quality education in their home countries since most of them did not proceed to high school while some did not complete their primary education.
He argues that teachers are not to blame for the low transition between high school and colleges since they did not take part in teaching the immigrants (Theevenot 2010). However, Berube observes that there is a need to develop performance skills to ensure students who are in the third and fourth grades perform well and proceed to universities. In addition, a similar comparison with other states like California and Washington shows similar trends even though these states have fewer immigrants compared to Texas City.
Teachers can develop their skills by pursuing further studies from the universities around their schools. Texas City is located in a strategic position with the most prestigious learning institutions within its boundaries. The Rice University, University of Houston, Lamar University, University Of Texas, Texas A& M University, Texas Technical University, and the University of North Texas. In addition, other private and public colleges offer different courses to local and foreign students (Finley 2009).
This means that this city has many opportunities to offer rooms to students graduating from high school. Teachers have an enormous challenge of ensuring they utilize these opportunities by ensuring these institutions absorb local students. In addition, these institutions can offer training to teachers to ensure they are equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills to teach students the importance and ways of improving their grades to proceed with their studies (Glanz 2013). In addition, the presence of immigrants from Mexico and Latin America should offer teachers opportunities to use cultural diversity to promote learning.
Even though, there is no basis for comparisons between these cultures it is necessary to make use of the strengths of all cultures to promote integration and learning (Schmoker 2010). Texas City has the potential of offering courses to many students, but this needs to be utilized by ensuring that teachers are properly trained to handle students to facilitate their transition to colleges and universities.
Even though, teachers may be well trained to handle high school students there are various challenges that hinder them from achieving their targets. First, the high number of immigrants (Latin Americans and Mexicans) is a serious challenge to the realization of a high number of students proceeding to universities (Michelson 2011). In addition, most of these immigrants did not attend high school, and some never even completed their primary school education.
However, the above study did not consider these issues and only focused on the age of all participants. This placed most of the blame on teachers for failing to achieve the transition target like how teachers in other states did (Panton 2007). This factor should have been considered during the research since it leads to biases and denies the research credibility. In addition, most of these people are aged above 25 years and are already involved in other activities like work or family obligations. Therefore, it will be difficult to convince them that education is important in their lives.
In addition, the research did not give much thought to the causes of the low rate of transition from secondary schools to other institutions of higher learning (Ambrose 2010). This means it failed to identify the reasons why this study registered decimal performance in this issue. Moreover, the results from other states did not vary significantly from the results obtained from this city (Johnson 2011). Lastly, all teachers are trained using the same curriculum and undergo similar exercises before they are allowed to teach. They must show that they have adequate skills to teach students academic and career skills to ensure they pass their examinations and proceed to higher institutions of learning.
Therefore, the differences noted by the case study should not be used as the final truth regarding the abilities of teachers to promote a high number of students with degrees in Texas City (Bern 2011). Moreover, the high number of immigrants will continue to affect these ratings since they constitute most of the participants in the research. However, the researchers should focus on the performances and percentages of students in lower grades. These should be used to approximate the results of the future transitions and this will place Texas City in a good position.
There are many opportunities for these teachers to advance and improve the statistics presented by the above case study. First, the presence of many institutions of higher learning should motivate teachers to encourage their students to perform well in high school examinations so that they can be admitted to these universities and colleges (Samaras 2010). They should conduct numerous career and academic lectures to ensure these students realize the importance of attaining high degrees and diplomas and how to get admission to them.
In addition, they must develop different curriculums for immigrants and other natives who did not manage to proceed to higher institutions of learning (Reeves 2012). This means that they must develop technical training institutions to ensure people attain technical skills in various issues like counseling, masonry, carpentry, mechanics, and farming amongst others (Given 2008). Lastly, teachers should not fear attending universities to ensure they gain knowledge and skills to improve their teaching. This will allow them to identify current trends in learning that are vital in ensuring they motivate students to pursue further education.
Teachers will always be faced with numerous challenges in teaching since society keeps changing daily. Texas is a fast-growing city, and this means it attracts people from different backgrounds (Hyde 2012). Even though, this city establishes stringent immigration policies to regulate reduce the number of immigrants to Texas City this will not be achieved easily.
Today, this city offers casual and professional employment to people and will continue to do this provided the economy sustains its momentum. These teachers will never have adequate skills to ensure there is an excellent performance by high school students if this research does not realize and consider this issue (Harris 2008). In addition, it is practically impossible to achieve a 90 % transition level from high school to college, and this means that these teachers should focus on their daily duties rather than concentrating on nonachievable goals.
The case study shows that various issues are yet to be exploited by teachers in Texas City to ensure many students pursue higher degrees. However, there are also logistic challenges that will lower the transition rate regardless of the quality of training teachers get from various institutions. Moreover, even though the city offers opportunities for teachers to develop their skills and knowledge many threats will hinder them from achieving their goals.
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