The education system only works when students are motivated to take an interest in their education. However, they only take an interest if they truly understand that the information they receive is an important building block for the future. No student wants to be told that, “education is important” but how else are educators supposed drive the message home? Teachers need to keep the subject matter interesting and challenging. Students like to explore new and exciting ways of learning and communicating.
Parents and teachers alike want students to learn the same way they did, but our generation has the trial and error methodology, while adults have more of a one shot methodology. An example would be the continual do-overs in a video game. A player might do the same action over and over until he masters the game. While in school, the one shot method of “a test” lends itself to the short-term memory, not necessarily committing the information into knowledge. However, the player of video game constantly repeats tasks with a new challenge each time; you’re only a failure until you have mastered the game. Once the player has mastered the game there is no point in playing it again because the knowledge to play the game has been committed to memory, especially when the challenge of a game is so great that it takes more than one sitting to master it. This is because then the player has to remember how to do all the previous successful tasks incase he fails and has to start over. The video game industry designs games as such so kids will talk to their friends about their games to learn how to win and so when a game becomes “old” or “mastered” they go out to buy a new game. Tests could be redesigned to incorporate a philosophy of “Dynamic testing”. Dynamic testing would allow the student to do the test over and over until they fully understood the material and acceptable grades have been achieved. Passing an assignment would provide a feeling of gratification to each student. The gratification would allow people to feel better about school.
The key factors in a students learning are motivation and a positive feed back loop through praise and gratification. The education system is currently failing a large part of this dynamic generation. The ways have changed, everything is dynamic, why not education? Is the goal to see what the student knows, or to give them the knowledge to succeed? Parents and teachers need to be part of the positive feed back loop, while students need to gain self motivation and confidence through successful achievements. Adults need to help each student achieve to bring about motivation and confidence.