The Lagging of American Education in the World

Published: 2021-07-06 23:08:22
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Chapter 1 IntroductionBackground of the studyThe education level of American secondary students is at a critical low. Further, American students’ educational level in secondary mathematics is not at a competitive level when compared to other countries worldwide (PISA, 2015). The study will illustrate problems with the instructional strategies and practices within secondary mathematics in many American high schools. American authorities have been bringing reforms for the past few decades to alleviate the causes for mediocre performance of students in secondary mathematics (The American Competitive Initiative, US Department of Education, 2006). Apparently, results of students are decreasing rather than improving and the rate of good assessment and results is decreasing. The performance of American students on math assessment ranges from, “merely mediocre to worse, depending on the type of test and grade level” which is becoming a greater concern for the city authorities including the head of institute and the lawmakers who are the major stakeholders regarding educational development. (Schmidt, 2012, p.133)Many factors exist affecting the educational learning and basic understanding of mathematics in secondary level. Political and Society factors have main role to play in influencing our educational standards and these factors are the core problems behind affecting educational standards (Neisser et al. 1996,p 95). The focus of education has always been on the theoretical level, thus negatively impacting the number of scientists in the technical fields (Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, 2006, p. 16). The factors like political and societal contributed significantly to reducing the learning and progression in technical areas of science. There are many events which have made it clear that technology is the future of coming era. China is on top of the list in technology, which is why it is keep rising in its economy. (PNAS, 2014) (Suter, 2006).America will no longer be the country with largest number of brilliant minds in industry because of the recent educational preference to focus on related fields of science, i.e. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) (Business Insider, 2017) China is one of the examples of growing economies focused on technical fields (National Science Foundation, 2010). It has the right focus on the type of education which would lead China ahead of America, as seen by the trends1 [1]in global economy. American political stances for education did not come out as productive as planned. The rising concern for limited knowledge of students in secondary mathematics has been discussed nationwide. There were some policies for education created by big switch which included the development of schools, focus on national curriculum including subjects like history, science and mathematics in primary schools. And offering training to students. These policies were created by big switch in 2010.The educational community is seeking alternate methods of teaching mathematics in secondary classes, which means getting rid of the typical ways of teaching. The classical school of thought has been undermined due to the ineffective outcomes which means the poor performance in the tests resulting in bad grades and marks, so this thought was not good enough for high school level students. American schools are evidently struggling to produce students with exceptional knowledge of mathematics (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012).A report given by the U.S Department of Education entailed that America has been experiencing a downfall in the level of education of its students especially mathematics (Peggy Carr, commissioner National Center for Education Statistics, 2013). Most developed countries are surging ahead of America in the field of education, which should serve as a startling realization not only to the school administration across America but also to the political elite as well as general public (OECD, 2013).America is the most developed country blessed with some of the greatest scientific minds in history. The great American dream was fueled by these great minds including the secretaries of education( Terrel bell, William Bennett and others)  which transformed into the academic outlook of the American society by diverting our focus from vocational outlook to the academic outlook. These great Americans include Edison and Ford, who contributed a lot for education by starting the educational programs including history, science, technology and arts. Home school programs were initiated by Edison and ford, summer camps were started and garden talks were also initiated. And lately, the fall in educational level can be taken as the downfall of the American growth on academic achievements. Federal government leaders talk about the standards of education, but consequently, the frequency of highlighting issues embedded with educational standards is no more the topic of interest from the past few decades and no much attention is given to this topic. This allowed for the free fall of educational standards along with the practices needed for communicating mathematics in classrooms across high schools in the United States.National assessment of educational programs (NAEP) has conducted a survey highlighting the poor performance of students in mathematics at secondary level (PNSA, 2015). Yet another study discussed the initiatives and programs that have been introduced by the government to improve the quality of education (Wheatley and Frieze, 2007). These programs could not produce the desired outcomes. An alarming situation has arisen for the American public as revealed by the poll and it shows clearly that public are even looking up from their cell phones long enough to know that their jobs are being taken away and where the lucrative jobs which require good mathematical understandings as prerequisites are being increasingly taken by immigrants, due to the failure of addressing the issue of falling educational levels in subjects such as mathematics at high school level (SESTAT, 2013). Thus, it is an important imperative to understand the failure of American education policies and implementations especially within the area of secondary mathematics (Akey, 2006).The difference in level of understanding at secondary level is substantially high when data from the United States is compared to other developed countries. Despite the rhetoric of introducing policies which can work in diverse circumstances, the authorities to say the least have been uncertain about the core issue. Changes in policies and practices, teacher training and compensation, etc. (National Council on Teacher Quality, 2013) has not enhanced student performance over the last two decades because of a failure to address the core issue. Charles Curtis Tucker, a homeschool evaluator (2012) concluded about using the inductive approach, where the classroom becomes the place to, “work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning” (p. 82).Like Tucker, there are other voices who support change in classroom environment to address the problem of falling educational objectives or learning standards. Weiss and Pasley (Bas,2010) state the issue of education can be attributed to the passive learning of students in the classrooms (2004). If a classroom environment is not conducive to learning then the chances of making a considerable difference in quality and understanding of students, especially in secondary mathematics, becomes dim. There is a strong correlation between the learning environment and student learning (Dallimore et al., 2004).Working to address the problem of classroom environment and its impact on student learning, the National Council Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) concluded that the teachers need to focus on the final output from the classroom learning of the students. The teachers were encouraged to establish an interactive and outcome-based setting. Thus, the flipped classroom model of instruction was introduced by the NCTM. The flipped classroom model is a newer approach towards imparting learning-based knowledge to the students of secondary mathematics. The design includes interactive sessions outside the classroom. An entirely new way of communicating is introduced with the students on their level (NCTM, 2009) in light of the new practices. The council concluded that “students [needed] to interact purposefully with the content and included various strategies to involve students and build on their previous knowledge” (p. 25).An important aspect derived from “flipping” the classroom is that of creating a learning environment where students engage in discussions and small competitions which increased interest in learning of secondary mathematics among high school. The flipped model is an example of a study environment where traditional ways of teaching are ignored (McDougall, 1997). The model does not only emphasize speaking to the students the way they need to be spoken to, but it also originates the idea of comprehending content on its merit. It would instill a learning attitude in students by indulging them to learn in a way which is not stressful for them, something that the student enjoys such as an activity like a quiz competition, group activities, etc. (Bergmann & Sams, 2012; Young, 2011).The main idea of introducing such blended and a student-oriented system is to flip the traditional ways of teaching. The flipped classroom instructional model deviates from any classical/traditional way of approaching students which focuses on grades rather than student learning. It is important for the teachers to understand the implications of this model. It is inclined towards students learning rather than traditional grading and the leverage grades have given teachers in classrooms in the past. Utilizing this approach would help the students engage themselves in learning-based activities which are results oriented (Brunsell & Horejsi, 2011).While digressing from traditional teaching techniques, flipped classroom teachers can interact on a personal level by creating and introducing different learning activities for students with different aptitudes. In this way, students will not be as bored because of a singular way of teaching, which may or may not appeal to and suit every student; rather, they would be learning in ways which are customized to them, thereby not wasting time by waiting for the class to be over (Mueller et al., 2011). The model illustrates the outcomes which can be gained by implementing this way of teaching in every high school in America.The flipped classroom model provides an opportunity for students to take the learning experience outside of the classrooms and to involve themselves in learning-based activities. The most important aspect of this model is to identify the key activities that could result in better learning; therefore, teachers are to facilitate the students in those activities in the best way possible (Talley & Scherer, 2013). Activities such as videos and the use of art and competition can contribute towards strong knowledge. The environment of learning and teaching would completely be changed into something called “creative forum” for students. The outside activities will grasp the interest of students in the subject (mathematics). The teachers will feel assisted, too, by less focus on boards and more focus on recreational learning based tasks (Vaughan, 2014).Many advantages have been associated with the implementation of the flipped model classroom, including increased student engagement, teamwork, teacher autonomy, class discussions, and personalized student guidance (Davies et al., 2013). The student engagement is attained by undertaking the activities suggested as part of the flipped model. Students would be willing to participate in activities and learn directly from them (Fredricks, 2011).  The concept of boredom in studying mathematics will be eliminated from outside activities as the students began to see learning as an enjoyable activity. Students will learn how to work in teams. Along with academic learning, their interpersonal skills will be developed as well. Teamwork is a core skill (Talley & Scherer, 2013).  The more students work in groups, the more teamwork abilities can become the part of their personalities (Strayer, 2012).Teachers would not be bound to any one particular method or way of teaching. The medium would fall under the new model, but cannot be specified. The teacher would be free to engage students in any activities they deem fit (Davies et al., 2013).  The curriculum for mathematics would be standardized. The teaching methodology would be changed and put in an effect. Every discussion originated would be focused by utilizing a different task. Students will learn and seek guidance at the same time. The personalized student guidance is the core aspect of learning. Each student’s learning style would be addressed within the flipped classroom model.Challenges do, however, exist when applying this model to schools of America. The lack of adaptation to change in the environment would be one of the most prevalent challenges for school administrations, which tend toward outcomes versus student learning (PTSA, 2016). The School administrations need to understand the rate of adaptability of the students (Fredricks, 2011). If the administration are reluctant to adapt new ways, the model might not be successful. An activity or style of teaching that is going to be adopted by teachers may not be aligned with the style of learning for every student.  The teacher cannot come up with a new activity for every student. A common problem with the instructional planning is finding a task that is accepted by the whole class (Johnson & Renner, 2012).Additional problems with implementing the flipped classroom model may come from teachers who are insecure about their roles and responsibilities in the setting. The outside activities may not be monitored or evaluated that accurately. Students might skip or do not complete the tasks correctly (Creswell, 2008).  The assessment of learning from those activities might not be that simple. The students may be graded improperly on their work. The group tasks may eliminate or frustrate the individual efforts put into the task. The identification of individual work contributed could be a tough duty to perform. The challenges include:The cost of conducting outside activities comes as a challenge as well.The time is another factor in the implication of this model for study.The government will have to bear a lot of extra cost for the implementation of flipped classroom environment. It is manageable, but time is a constraint too.Outside activities can be time-consuming; it could affect the overall school schedule for the students.It is not going to be an easy change for changing the schedule for an entire high school system (Marzano, 2013).Problem statementThe research would focus on the problem with the current issues with the educational system. America is getting behind in secondary mathematics as compared to the rest of the world. The study has suggested the Flipped Classroom Model to overcome the problem. The implications of flipped model of the classroom are not simple. This study will highlight the challenges and effectiveness this change can bring into the secondary mathematics. This paper will study the implication of the flipped model of classrooms and how American secondary education mathematics can be improved by it. The study will establish the framework of literature to support the idea and illustrate all the challenges associated with it. The paper will identify the options and the impact it leaves on improving the secondary mathematics of high schools in America.Significance of the studyThe study carries weight to demonstrate the lagging behind of American education in the world. It is crucial to understand and realize the position of American high school in the world. If the changes have not been introduced, the United States may suffer immensely in future. The last two decades have been very challenging for American education. There has been a constant decrease in the quality of teaching as well as learning, obviously learning depends upon teaching, so teaching comes first, especially in the secondary level mathematics. The study would contribute to the effectiveness of the flipped model of the classroom. It might support the initiative of the authorities to implement this model in schools.Research questionsWill there be a positive impact of flipped model of the classroom on the secondary mathematics, what will be the student’s achievements pre and post flipped classroom, what will be the teacher’s attitude and what will be the student’s attitude?Does the model come with a change that uplifts the educational standards comprehensively?How challenging would it be to implement the flipped model of the classroom in the high schools of the districts of America?What will be the students’ attitude towards the change? Will it prove to be convenient for students to adopt and learn from a change of system in teaching?What impact will the Flipped Classroom Model have on learning within a secondary mathematics environment?How challenging will it be for school and classroom leaders to implement the Flipped Classroom Model within a secondary mathematics environment?What impact will an implemented Flipped Classroom environment have on student and teacher attitudes?ReferencesBaker, J. W. (2000). The “classroom flip”: Using web course management tools to become the guide on the side. In J. A. Chambers (Ed.), Selected papers from the 11th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning (pp. 9-17). Jacksonville, FL: Florida Community College at Jacksonville.Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: Reach every student in every class every day. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Brunsell, E., & Horejsi, M. (2011). Flipping your classroom. Learning and Leading with Technology, 78(2), 10.Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Davies, R. S., Dean, D. L., & Ball, N. (2013). Flipping the classroom and instructional technology integration in a college-level information systems spreadsheet course. Educational Technology Research and Development, 61, 563-580. Doi: 10.1007/s11423-013-9305-6.Fredricks, J. A. (2011). Engagement in school and out-of-school contexts: A multidimensional view of engagement. Theory into Practice, 50, 327-335.Johnson, L. W., & Renner, J. D. (2012). Effect of the flipped classroom model on a secondary computer applications course: Student and teacher perceptions, questions and student achievement (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.Marzano, R. J. (2013). Ask yourself: Are students engaged? Educational Leadership, 70(6), 81-82.National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Highlights from TIMSS 2011: Mathematics and science achievement of U.S. fourth- and eighth-grade students in an international context (NCES Publication No. 2013009). Retrieved from http://nces.edu.gov/ .National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2009). Focus in high school mathematics: Reasoning and sense making. Reston, VA: Author.Schmidt, W. H. (2012). At the precipice: The story of mathematics education in the United States. Peabody Journal of Education, 87, 133-156. doi:10.1080/0161956X.2012.642280State Educational Technology Directors Association. (2011). National educational technology trends: 2011. Retrieved from http://www.setda.org.Strayer, J. (2007). The effects of the classroom flip on the learning environment: A comparison of learning activity in a traditional classroom and a flip classroom that used an intelligent tutoring system. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (UMI No. 3279789).Suter, W. N. (2006). Introduction to educational research: A critical thinking approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Talley, C. P., & Scherer S. (2013). The enhanced flipped classroom: Increasing academic performance with student-recorded lectures and practice testing in a “flipped” STEM course. The Journal of Negro Education, 82(3), 339-347.Tucker, B. (2012). The flipped classroom. Education Next, 12(1), 82-83.Vaughan, M. (2014). Flipping the learning: An investigation into the use of the flipped classroom model in an introductory teaching course. Education Research and Perspectives, 41, 25-41.Weiss, I., & Pasley, J. (2004). What is high-quality instruction? Educational Leadership, 61(5), 24-28.Young, E. (2011). Flip it: An interview with Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann. Go Teach, 1(1), 12-14.Bas, G. (2010), Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 5(3)Dallimore, E.J., Hertenstien, J.H & Plantt, M.B (2004). Classroom participation and discussion effectiveness: student generated strategies, Communication Education, 53, 103-115.Drew Silver, Program for International Student Assessment (2015), US at 38 out of 71, retrieved from Pew Research center.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. (2014) retrieved from www.pnas.orgTechnology”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2014, Vol. 111, No. 26. Dol: 10.1073/pnas.1407709111.Xie, Yu; Zhang, Chunni; Lai, Qing. “China’s Rise as a Major Contributor to Science and.[1] “These 5 Trends Will Shape The Global Economy In 2017”. 2017. Fortune.Com. http://fortune.com/2017/01/01/economy-2017/.

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