Personalized Pathways: The Future of Education?

This is a video of a new program being implemented into my former high school on the far west side of Madison. As a pursuing educator, I took a special interest in Kirsten’s and Zitakala’s experiences in schools, and also the different types of education expressed in the “Education” Keywords’ essay.

In the Keywords’ essay “Education”, both a liberal education and a vocational education are discussed. While experiencing a liberal education, one’s training would be more focused on more experiential and diverse learning. For example, if one is pursuing health care, they may also be encouraged to take a fine arts’ course. By gaining a liberal education, individuals have the opportunity to develop new passions and interests while also learning how to interact with those who differ from themselves. In vocational training, one focuses on becoming deeply knowledgeable in one certain area or subject. This type of training can be effective and important as well. For example, it is important that a brain surgeon is very knowledgeable in the area of the brain and the procedures performed in surgery.

After watching this video, it appears that Memorial High School is shifting their educational to a more vocational training approach. Although this may have benefits, I believe there are some downfalls to the new program. Many are worried that students would not be able to choose a “pathway” at such a young age. While this is true, it seems that Memorial’s faculty has taken this concern into consideration while developing Personal Pathways. Despite the downfalls, it is still my hope that Personal Pathways could help further the education of students at Memorial High School.

Throughout American history, education has gone through many reforms. Kirsten’s story and Zitkala’s story are two representations of past structures of education. In these times, educational training focused on the implementation of morals, religion, and discipline. This is vastly different for the educational focuses expressed in the Keyword’s essay that are not only on the well roundedness of individuals (liberal education) but also job readiness (vocational training). Today, there are different focuses on the way that education is implemented. There seems to be a trend of focus shifting more toward tracking and job readiness. Could Personalized Pathways be the future of our educational system?

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