3 out of 4 stars
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How was your educational experience? Were there things that you wished could have been changed? Was school the bane of your existence or your reason for being? As a parent, are you as involved in your children's schooling as you should be?
In Education Reimagined author Maruf Hossain discusses the educational system in the United States, its difficulties, and how to improve it. The book begins with a series of essays by the author about such topics as standardized testing, bullying, and the college experience. In the second part, there are essays from students with their experiences and ideas for improvement.
Having earned my bachelor's degree in music (and now not using my degree at all), I have my own ideas about schooling and of what it should consist. I was curious to see how my opinions lined up with the author's and if there would be any practical solutions given. While not all of the answers were realistic, I did agree with the author about the removal of tests. He advocates for a portfolio based grading system where the student is judged on a body of work instead of quizzes and exams. While it wouldn't be easy to implement, this would eliminate unnecessary stress from students and give them a higher possibility of success.
The essays from current students were enlightening and informative. What better way to get a sense of where our system is failing than from those that are going through it? The most poignant piece was from a young woman who was the victim of discrimination during her schooling.
I also appreciated the research that went into the book. The author makes use of endnotes throughout the book, which shows that the author did his homework. These are all clickable, as was the table of contents. It would be easy to pick and choose sections to read or use the endnotes to do further research on your own.
The only drawback to the book was the lack of professional editing. The most numerous error I encountered was the use of the wrong tense of verbs. Even more troublesome, though, was the awkwardly worded sentences that caused me to reread them several times to try to discover the author's meaning. For example: "In classes there is always an exception or two of students that struggle more than their peers, and while they should not receive any special treatment unless there is something specific medically that is known to give such as extra time on a test, we may not know the full extent of their struggles in their studies."
Overall, Education Reimagined is a quick read about an important topic. Due to the awkward phrasing and grammatical errors, I can only give it 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone that is involved in any way in the educational system of the United States - teachers, principals, students, parents, and lawmakers. I do hope that there are changes made to make education a better experience for both student and teacher (and parent).
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