Recently, I had the privilege of tutoring a student for one of her weekly social studies exam. I wanted to do this because while I was in school, I did very well in social studies and felt I could provide keen insight to help this student do better in this course. One reason why I did well in social studies is not because I had a high IQ, it was because at an early age, my father and my school system taught me various special study techniques like SQRRR (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) or the Textbook Comprehension method to help me do real well in courses like social studies. I utilized these special study techniques to get an advance outlook on what the teacher would teach in class and be able to use repetitive tactics to be prepared for whatever course exam I had to take for. The reason this was helpful for me is because these methods helped me realize that the textbook, not the teacher or professor, was the actual teacher of the course. My job as a student was to anticipate what the textbook would convey as the most important sections for me to focus on and use that knowledge to do real well on the exams given in each class.
What I found troubling is that this student I was tutoring did not know any of the special study techniques I had learned in any variation. I learned that her school did not expose her to any of these techniques. The student’s parent confirmed this to be true. Also, the student tells me that her teacher does not emphasize any preparatory reading of the textbook before attending class. Finally, her public school system informs the students that the books are not their property and they don’t need to use them to do well in the class.
So, I look at what I was exposed to and what our children in this day and age are given in terms of educational opportunities and I ask these questions for you to blog about to give feedback so we can see if other places are experiencing the same lax standards in educational training of our youth in the public school system:
- Does your public school teach you special study techniques at an early age?
- Does your public school inform the kids and parents that they can’t keep their textbooks due to lack of funds?
- Does your public school system have more money allocated to administrative offices instead of teachers and supplies for students?
- Is there a productive forum for parents and students to voice their concerns and see positive action take place or is it status quo as usual?
I look forward to your insight. After we receive it, I intend to write an article looking at some positive ways and examples each of you in your community can utilize to improve our student’s ability to do well in the U. S. public school system. As Malcolm X says, knowledge is power. Our ancestors, who had limited access to education, sacrificed for us to get knowledge to improve our capability to garner wealth, not redistribute it. Let’s continue to fight for what is right.
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