It’s no secret that there’s a major problem happening in traditional American schools. The nation that used to be legendary for producing great minds and having an outstanding education system has students that are falling behind students in other countries at an alarming rate.
Online courses for high school and other k-12 students are a new concept, but they could help solve the current education problem. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education published a meta-analysis of evidence-based studies of K-12 and postsecondary online learning programs. Their study found that students who took either all or some of their classes online performed better on average than students who took the same courses through traditional face-to-face schooling. There are a variety of benefits that come along with an online education, and many of the benefits seem to offer solutions to the problems traditional schooling creates.
One of the biggest problems with the U.S. education system is their “one-size-fits-all” approach to educating students. Every individual student has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to education and the rigid approach to teaching most schools have aren’t giving their students the individual attention they need to hone their talents and improve their education. Students in online schools are allowed to learn at their own pace, and their classes can be tailored to their own unique learning styles and interests.
True Equal Educational Opportunity
Online learning addresses one of the main problems in the American education system: the limited access students have to high quality teachers. Economic and geographical factors that are out of the child and family’s control play a significant role in the quality of education students receive. Geographic and economic factors don’t affect students in online schools. Every child with access to a computer has access to the same professional and talented teachers as their peers.
Teachers Who Truly Teach
When a retired teacher named Abby Breaux wrote an open letter to her supervising school board about the state of the average school teacher it went viral almost instantly. Breaux touches on a lot of points in his letter, but her point about modern teachers being stripped of the ability to truly teach is very true. The focus on modern education seems to be more about memorization and regurgitation of facts than it is about truly understanding the material.
Today, teachers in many traditional schools are pushed to make sure their students pass standardized tests as well as state and federal requirements for education. Teachers also have to follow a strict curriculum approved by school boards, so the lessons that they give their students may not be the best way to teach them. Online schooling gives teachers a chance to focus on their individual students and give them the best tools they need to learn, and not tools that were pre-appointed by people who don’t know their personal educational needs.