In a class, every student has a different learning speed. Some people learn faster a school subject while their colleagues learn more slowly another school subject. Yet, students are forced to learn at the same pace and forced to graduate at the same time.
Problems of the current school model
For many students, the problem is often related to the fact that it’s too fast or too slow. The problem is related to the long-term consequences. Here are the main problems and their consequences.
Uniform class issue: Students cannot learn all school subjects at the same pace. Yet, they must meet the same requirements to graduate from one year to the next. This causes a problem related to the learning speed.
Learning too fast: If a student has difficulty learning at a learning stage, he will have even more difficulty at the next stage. Before moving to the next stage, we must master the current stage. In a group where all students are forced to follow at an average speed, many people will not master the school subject before moving on to the next stage. These students will accumulate more and more delays. Eventually, they will either drop out or fail their class and repeat their year by lack of skills.
Learning too slow: Although it does not seem like a major problem, it remains a problem anyway. Some students have more potential than others in a class. The fact of following the average speed of the group will not allow themselves to develop their full potential. Furthermore, if they are bored, they can possibly drop out because a lack of interest.
The best solution that we can develop is to teach on an individual and customized basis for each student. This is very similar to an individual and private course, but with today’s technologies, we can get this potential without the cost of private lessons.
Right now, teaching is done by group. It’s more profitable to teach a group than having a teacher for each student. This is a sensible and intuitive long-standing approach. However, with the complexity of the school subjects to be learned today, this approach is problematic. Therefore, we must think how we can teach at different speeds for each student while having a teacher for a group.
The most individual and most advanced teaching mode is on the computer. Several applications exist to teach a single person. This works relatively well for people who already have notions of the language.
If we can learn from tutorials on YouTube and other video sites, we can learn that way at school or at home. It would be interesting to develop more a model with this aspect.
Mixed model: Right now, I believe the ideal model would be schools with a mixed model between classes and individual learning. There would be classrooms and also periods where students would be learning on the computer with the tutorials. Teachers would also be available during periods of tutorials to answer questions from students.
Flexibility of learning time: Often, students are stronger in math or English. Depending on their most mastered school subject, they could spend more time learning their weakest school subject to catch up and follow the group.
Variable group size: If you were in a group of 1,000 students who were learning the same subject, imagine the learning gaps. Now, divide this group into 20 groups of 50 students where each group master the subject differently. Each group will perform better with a more adapted teaching to their level. Take these 50 students per class and divide again each group into 5 groups of 10 students. The teaching will be more adapted. The closer the teaching gets to the individual, the more the teaching is adapted.
High rates of school dropout justify that we innovate in the ways of teaching. I believe a part of these rates are attributable to ways of teaching.
The computerized method of learning and the Internet have shown us that it’s possible to learn well with these tools on an individual basis (outside of a class).
Since everyone has a different way of learning, it’s necessary that the school adapts to students as much as possible. This adaptation of the schools should be done essentially with a mixed model between individual learning and classroom courses.