An issue that almost all students here at Prior Lake High School have had an encounter with is the constant movement and inconsistency of scheduling teachers in a student’s schedule. It is not uncommon for a student to have three or even four different teachers for the same subject throughout a school year.
With this issue comes another problem, if a student learns well with a specific teacher and is moved out of his or her class, any request to be left in that teacher’s classroom is denied. As well as the inverse, if a student struggles with a specific teachers style of teaching, a request to be assigned to a different teacher is also denied.
In a study done by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, the idea that not all children learn in the same way was reinforced. Some auditory, some visual, some individual, etc. With this information, it’s hard to understand why a students request to better their learning or continue learning in a way that’s comfortable, is very seldom accepted.
As explained on College America’s website, there are four distinct teaching styles: formal authority, demonstrator, facilitator, and delegator. Students may learn best with any different combination of these styles and by limiting the choice and role the students have in this process, it limits the potential academic success of the student.
The reasoning often given to students about this issue is often something along the lines of “we are not able to take teacher requests”. The response is both vague and causes frustration amongst students who may do significantly better which one teacher than another.
“With the proper training and support, pupils can bring a different and valuable point of view,” Said Maggie Atkinson the children’s commissioner of education in England on The Atlantic publication.
Many schools in the UK, as well as some in the U.S, have begun giving their students a larger role in their class selection and education, whether it be picking different types of required courses, setting up the order of their schedule or something else.
It seems as though schools in other area are taking bounds forward, while PLHS is still waiting to take that first step.