Don’t blame teachers for failing to educate students who don’t pay attention, do homework or care about learning, writes Diane Ravitch in the New York Sun. Teachers “talk about parental lack of support for children, about a popular culture that ridicules education and educators, and about the frustrations of trying to awaken a love of learning in children who care more about popular culture, their clothing, and their social life than mastering the wonders of science, history, and mathematics.”
It’s time to stop beating up on teachers and ask why so many of our children arrive in school with poor attitudes toward learning. If the students aren’t willing to work hard, if they aren’t hungry to succeed, then even the best teachers in the world â€” laden with merit pay, bonuses, and other perks â€” are not going to make them learn.
Does the popular culture ridicule education? I think education is often treated as the great cure-all for all problems. But the culture undervalues the necessity for hard work, often treating education like a magical process that will just happen.
I think most children are excited about learning when they start school. But if they don’t learn to read competently, schoolwork becomes frustrating. Eventually, unless they have Japanese-style “education parents,” they stop trying.