Quality Education. It seems like a simple term. I asked a lot of people one seemingly simple question, and if I asked you, I bet I would get the same response. I asked, “Do you think you receive a quality education?” I bet it was a quick “yes or no” answer. It is one of those questions where your instincts take over in answering. Generally in today’s society, there is a very basic system to determining if you receive a quality education, and that is usually if you go to a public or private school. However, there are mini categories in each of those areas of schooling. Public and private schools alike have “rivals” that they compete with. It has been drilled into our brains that schools’ SAT, PSAT, ACT, etc. scores is the number one most important element in proving a certain school offers a higher quality of education. However, education is anything but simplistic, so I knew the reasons behind a quality education must be much more than a one dimensional, statistics on a piece-of-paper answer. I decided to ask different members of my community how they defined a quality education. I made them think past the initial robot-like answers, and once they overcame the barriers this one dimensional answer became a galaxy with infinite dimensions.
I am getting ahead of myself. I should tell you where this passion for education started from.
This is me (and my dog, Pickles):
My name is Sarah and I am currently a sophomore in high school. I came from a poor neighborhood in Waterbury, Connecticut with a school system that, lets just say, wasn’t the greatest. However, after seeing my parents face never ending financial instability, I knew that when they said those nagging parent phrases like “Finish your homework before you watch TV” or “Don’t forget to study for that math test!” they weren’t just saying it to say it. It was crucial to focus on my education so one day I can have a well-paying career and make them proud. By the time high school rolled around my hard work payed off and I was accepted into one of the highest ranked private high schools in the United States, The Taft School, on a scholarship. I started here:
And now I’m here:
Even though I went to a public school and a private school, I realized there was good and bad qualities about both. This is where I started my interest in what exactly is a quality education. I realized I needed a base to start my project, so I decided to take my favorite aspects of both school systems and use that to make my initial definition of a quality education–
I define quality education as being in an environment where inside the classroom you learn efficiently by passionate and intelligent teachers, and outside the classroom are inspired by the community to be passionate about learning, school, working with peers, and also with extra curricular activities. I think quality education is more than just what grades you receive on standardized tests. Its about the atmosphere. Quality education also involves what is outside of school, such as sports, music, art, clubs, etc. Overall, we need to give kids more chances to express their interests instead of following a step by step instruction guide. This supports the idea about having public college. More people would be able to further their education, and whats even better is college is the time to learn what interests you. The fact that in college you can choose your own path supports the idea that college in itself is quality education, which why we need to work toward public college so all people of all backgrounds can have one final chance in receiving a quality education.
The more I wrote the more passionate I became, and by the end I was able to connect the dots and add another interest of mine, public college, into my definition. Instead of just listing others’ responses and spewing different facts at you about education, I made this video that will hopefully give you enough information to inspire you to establish your own opinions for quality education. Enjoy!
So, how do YOU define a quality education? Feel free to add your response. Remember, defining what a quality education is the first step to achieving it in your school and schools around the world.