Increasing student achievement in critical subject areas.
Jan 02, 2013 10:00AM
● By Lisa Drake
As a mother and educator with over 10 years in education I have experienced first-hand what it is like to have a child struggle in critical subject areas in school. My exposure as a former elementary school teacher and college instructor, were no match to the helplessness, lack of merit, and disconnect I felt when my child’s lack of confidence superseded my belief that she could do anything. When my words simply put did not equate to action on her part.
Math for my daughter has been one of those difficult subject areas. Through my research however, I have found that she and I both are not alone.
According to the Huffington Post, studies show that as a nation the US falls drastically behind when compared to other countries in the subject areas of Math and Science. As a matter of fact, US students rank 25th in Math and 17th in Science in comparison to 34 other countries. With drastic changes in the global economy, rapidly evolving changes in technology, and increasing job market demands on engineering and math it seems students in the US are not being adequately prepared for their futures.
Along with statistical data, I have talked to dozens of parents who too have complained of their student’s inability to be competent in these critical areas. Not only do they find their students are unsuccessful, many parents lack adequate resources to assist their students in maximizing their full potential.
Along with parent frustrations, many school districts despite their best efforts have faced some frustrations of their own. Larger class sizes, shorter instruction periods, and decreased professional development opportunities for teachers are just a few of the drastic shifts that have taken place in districts across the state and locally. All of these factors, many of which are a result of shortages in federal funding greatly affect student learning as well as student achievement. While these circumstances may seem beyond our immediate control, strong partnerships between parents, teachers, and the local community can assist in building robust schools and aide in closing these gaps.
One solution to this ever pressing issue is educational enrichment outside of the regular classroom day. Many local tutoring centers provide enrichment for students in a variety of subject areas as well as grade levels. Whether the enrichment is online, in a classroom or both, educational enrichment provides a necessary extension to the learning environment particularly for students who seemingly struggle in school. Not only does this enrichment provide additional opportunities for mastery, it also assists students with retention, and contributes to a deeper level of comprehension of the subject matter.
Oftentimes students are unable to adequately master a subject during the course of an hour and 30 minutes of instruction time. Particularly in subjects as concrete as math and science that build on the foundations of one another. Enrichment time outside of the class environment builds the knowledge muscle in a particular subject area similar to an athlete building their skills in a particular sport. Just like you have to learn how to be a better soccer player through learning camps, and intense training, academics require a similar strategy building the knowledge muscle in effort to be successful.
Educational Enrichment goes far beyond getting a better math grade, it’s about enriching your students learning abilities, building their overall confidence, and attaining the goal of becoming a lifelong learner.
For more information about educational enrichment opportunities visit www.educationoutsource.com/mini-sessions