The educational system has been a relevant topic for researchers and teachers for an extended period of time. However, despite the increased number of reform movements in recent years, the educational policies do not seem to meet the needs of society. Currently, the defects of the structure include a lack of teacher-led suggestions, an absence of community support, and an overall inequity among schools and universities. Therefore, it is crucial to propose innovative ideas and implement them to set the direction for the school reforms and to develop a comprehensive educational system.
Teacher-led Education Reforms
There are several ways to increase the efficiency of the American educational system, and one of them is the direct involvement of teachers in the development of school reforms. Even though a tutor is one of the central roles in education, the teacher-led approach is often neglected by the government and communities (Datnow, 2020). Due to the previous reforms, schools in America were implementing the same educational policies in spite of a difference in students, teachers, and communities surrounding them (Datnow, 2020).
This unification leads to numerous problems, such as neglect from tutors and students, errors in curriculums, and the absence of proper equipment necessary for such reforms. As Datnow (2020) states, ‘understanding education reform as a co-constructed process and as a dynamic relationship between structure, culture, and agency was helpful in making sense of the complex complexities of school improvement’ (p. 435). The quote implies that it is barely possible to constitute a comprehensive school reform without the direct involvement of the teachers.
For the success of the education reformations, it is vital to understand how exactly teachers should be involved. As an example, it is possible to conduct research-practice sessions at schools and universities for tutors. During the sessions, teachers discuss pedagogical strategies and develop innovative plans that would be efficient precisely for their educational environment. Datnow (2020) demonstrates that in one of such meetings, the teachers were able to resolve the issue of the students that were having immigration-related traumas. Therefore, similar sessions might provide solutions to the local problems of both students and teachers. In summary, granting teachers more autonomy in the educational process and supporting their ideas is essential to the improvement of the school system.
Personalized Learning Plans
Another way to increase the efficiency of the educational system is to provide students with personalized learning plans. Nowadays, it is possible to achieve a high variety of individual schedules since most schools can get access to advanced technology. Music, video production, arts, website design, and other unique activities help to encourage intellectual and even physical activity among students. It also serves as a change of pace for children that cannot endure the constant academic pressure. Since students acquire information at a different speed, project-based learning has proved to be efficient in personalized learning plans. Such an approach allows teachers to select suitable courses for children. Therefore, individual plans are required for education reforms to take effect.
Significance of the Community
Communities should be one of the most significant factors in the American educational system. However, nowadays, schools are often overcrowded, and parents are barely involved in the upbringing of the child. Hence, it leads to a lack of feeling of unity in the school environment. Furthermore, in the present conditions of the unavoidable predominance of distance learning, it is more crucial than ever to thrive for a sense of community. Both teachers and students should find ways to minimize the effects of virtual learning in the aspect of solidarity. After all, the feeling of unity is vital for a nourishing educational environment and an exhaustive school experience.
Currently, in many regions of the country, communities need to engage more with the school environment in order for the American educational system to thrive. Chevalier (2012) shares his experience of how it is attainable to make the community interact with the school. To resolve the issue of the students being held back in elementary schools, he proposed a three-stage plan (Chevalier, 2012). First, together with volunteers, he assembled the community and defined the core group of assistants (Chevalier, 2012). Consequently, they prepared an interview plan, and the executive group started a home-to-home campaign asking parents about the school life of the students.
The questions concerned the quality of school life and the directions of the career of the students. After the information from the interviews was gathered, the researchers evaluated the data and conducted a report (Chevalier, 2012). The results were unexpected, and it turned out that parents and teachers had contradictory expectations regarding some of the questions (Chevalier, 2012). However, this discovery allowed teachers and researchers to change the direction of school education in the community for the better.
Equity in the Educational System
Schools are generally believed to reflect various types of inequities in the nation. This holds true for American society since it is especially divided by race and economic status, and, unfortunately, schools do reflect these patterns. According to Noguera and Noguera (2018), a more comprehensive approach to school formation is needed. As an example, the authors use the case of a community school in northern California (Noguera & Noguera, 2018).
In this school, the main aim is to support all the students and particularly provide help to students of color with low income. The school ensures that the pupils develop both academic knowledge and a sense of responsibility to the community (Noguera & Noguera, 2018). Despite the lack of experience of many teachers, the school policy and the collaborative work made it possible to create a nourishing educational environment (Noguera & Noguera, 2018). Due to the constant engagement of all stakeholders and a unifying policy, the school was able to overcome the inequities among the students. This example demonstrates how a sense of community and collaborative work can help in the improvement of the educational system.
To conclude, the American educational system and school reforms need urgent adjustments. Currently, the system is flawed and does not correspond to the needs of society. It lacks a dynamic and responsive structure that would provide a nourishing environment for students and tutors. As a possible solution, teachers should be provided with more agency in the questions of education, school communities should be united, and the students need a more diverse variety of learning plans and strategies. Furthermore, the issue of equity and the disparity in school financing needs to be resolved as soon as possible. However, if the students, teachers, and communities work collaboratively, the American educational system may thrive and meet the needs of society in the near future.
Chevalier, R. (2012). Parent to parent. In P. Senge, N. Cambron-McCabe, T. L. B. Smith, J. Dutton & A. Kleiner (Eds.), Schools that learn (updated and revised) (pp. 491-497), The Crown Publishing Group.
Datnow, A. (2020). The role of teachers in educational reform: a 20-year perspective. Journal of Educational Change, 21, 431-441. Web.
Noguera, J., & Noguera, P. (2018). Equity through mutual accountability. The Learning Professional, 39(5), 44-52.