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Learning and Teaching Styles in Jeopardy

By Leanne Cross and Tianah Goncalves

 Imagine, sitting in any class that appears too difficult because of how material is taught.  The removal of pathway classes is supposed to provide more opportunities next year at SHS; but instead it is causing conflict between teachers and students.

Currently, SHS offers pathway, college, honors, and AP level classes. The variety of classes provides the best atmosphere for the different learning levels of students. By eliminating pathway classes, teachers believe it could change how students progress in their learning as well as change how they plan their lessons. 

 SHS student, Kristen Jolley, thinks that taking away pathway classes might be a bad idea for SHS, reflecting that it will significantly alter how students acquire information in the classroom.

Jolley said, “It will give a different learning environment for the college and pathway students. The college students may feel bored in class if the classes become easier.” She also added that the pathway students could feel rushed in their learning if the class stays at the college level.

“Some students may not be able to stay after school often to receive the extra help. I believe it will be a struggle and could hurt the student’s grades by dropping pathway class,” Jolley insisted. She added that she does not see a problem with the pathway classes and taking the classes away will cause more conflicts than benefits.

Jolley states that one positive outcome of removing the pathway level is that the amount of work may be decreased in the college classes so other students can keep up. “I would really like that considering I receive so much homework now even in my college level classes,” Jolley said.

When SHS student, Taylor Cross, was asked if she thought teachers would have to change their teaching style she said, “I think the way they present information may become slower but it could benefit all students so they can focus easier. For the pathway students, they will have the opportunity to experience more and challenge themselves to a higher level with the more difficult information.”

SHS Science teacher, Ms. Dunn, said that “it would intentionally have a positive effect on all students.” She believes the change is important because it will motivate kids that are having a hard time to work more. It will benefit the students in allowing them to prepare for college.

Dunn said, “It won’t have any effect on the incoming freshmen because this is a completely new school to them so either way everything is new.” According to Dunn, the only negative aspect about removing pathways classes is that the teachers will have to create new lesson plans. But teachers always need to modify what they do to meet the needs of their students. She also said if any students felt like they were struggling they could ask for help.

 SHS English teacher Ms. Pacheco agrees with Ms. Dunn. Pacheco said, “Getting rid of all pathways classes next year is going to be a great idea. It’ll just take some time for kids to adjust. Removing pathways classes will not have any effect on the way I teach,” Pacheco said. If students are struggling because they need the extra help they should always tell their teachers or come after school for extra help. Overall removing these classes will help student’s future.”

Administrators hope for the best with this change and the outcome will be seen in September 2014. But compounding the leveling change and the major change in scheduling for the upcoming school year may prove to be a lot to handle when the summer of 2014 comes to a close. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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