Cold Information is Meaningless

In schools across America, teachers are asking students to merely memorize facts without asking them to apply those facts to other situations. Any high schooler could coronet the location of Hadrian's Wall to memory, for example, and even be able to tell you when it was constructed, but few could tell you its impact on British history. He or she may be able to earn a passing grade on the test, but what have they really learned? Chemistry students could have Periodic Table of Elements' symbols drummed into their heads, but what good is it unless they are able to use their knowledge practically, whether outside of school or just even in the confines of a laboratory? Cold information is meaningless unless the student can logically and efficiently connect it with other scientific theories or different incidents throughout history, otherwise, 75% of education is simply trivia and only beneficial if that person's aspiration is to be a contestant on Jeopardy. 

It's no wonder that some of today's children cannot comprehend  cause and effect relationships or realize the end results of their  actions when they are only taught singular facts and nothing is ever tied together. They fail to see the "big picture". Students become bored easily because some aspects of their education are seemingly useless, the popular question "how am I ever going to use this outside of class?" is heard daily. If it is shown to them that historical events have significance and have made an impact on our lives today, perhaps they would in turn show more interest and the lesson's purpose would be clearer to them. Math and science teachers could emphasize how those respective skills can be an asset to someone looking for employment, particularly in the growing and lucrative field of technology. 

Another solution would be to synchronize the assignments in one class with the studies of other departments. For example, a student could learn about the African Revolution in history class, read Philip Morin Freneau's poetry in English class, research and script a play set in the colonies during the late 1700s for drama, etc. Math and science teachers could also collaborate in the same manner. This way, students get a large scope of a specific event to understand its magnitude better, especially since they can see how one thing, such as politics or art, can influence an entire culture. 

No occurrence in history is without its consequences and no scientific explanation stands alone, and students and teachers together need to appreciate that in order to make education worthwhile. 

By Norma Rusie 

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