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More programs should emphasize practical knowledge. Instead, they focus on dated or useless material while forcing students to churn out stacks of essays in order to pass. For years I stood in front of my students and lied to them. In theory (like many things in academia) essays should be effective. My last year, I had everyone in my class share their essays with me on Google Drive right at the beginning.Over and over again, I emphasized the importance of academic essay writing. Unfortunately, pragmaticism devours ideologies before breakfast. This meant that all 90-ish of my students shared the documents that would eventually turn into their essays with me.Taking risks and generating change is attune to what is known about entrepreneurs (The need for teachers to become productive, modern knowledge workers in 21st century teaching and learning environments is essential.
It wasn’t until later on that year when I started focusing more on alternatives to academic essay writing that I started seeing greater success with my students. State and district tests directly affect a teacher’s job security.
The few I had received only inspired a deeper feeling of failure with how far they missed the mark. Academic essays weren’t the only thing that pushed me out of the classroom and away from the kids, but they made up a significant chunk of it. Throngs of new teachers rush toward schools each year wanting to make a difference only to run away quickly. And you don’t need a study to point out that the lack of consistency is detrimental to student learning.
This essay was completed for the subject- INF530 Concepts and Practices for the Digital Age, as part of my Masters of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) studies.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License.
Traditional teaching and learning is changing to keep up with the rapid developments and changes with digital technologies and ever expanding online learning environments.
Students today are faced with a differentiated set of skills, attitudes and actions that they will need in order for them to be prepared for, be successful in and meet the challenges of a digital economy (21st Century Learning, 2009).Writing this might make me a marked man in the eyes of many academics. You can make a living creating You Tube videos, posting pictures on Instagram, tweeting out 280 characters of passing thoughts.Saying “essays are useless” is enough to summon hordes of tweed-clad humanities professors to riot in the streets and demand my head. These are challenging careers that can be very rewarding. Teachers continue to push academic essay writing as though it were the most critical task you’ll ever undertake.What’s more, kids actually started enjoying the class. The way we teach writing at every level needs to be rethought. Districts place a great deal of importance on academic essay writing.I didn’t get rid of essays outright, but looking back, I wish I had. We don’t use a horse and carriage for travel anymore. Because we’ve developed better alternatives over time. Even I’m guilty of arguing their significance in the past.When they pushed back, I repeated the same phrases like some half-dead, high priest muttering an ancient mantra: I’m speaking from experience. I wanted to monitor their progress over the quarter and provide help along the way. Nearly all my students started their essays in the last week before the due date with most starting the weekend or even the night before it was due.I watched in real time as they struggled to pump out the words.That’s why it can be terrifying for graduating students.It’s hard to adjust to life outside of school because we’ve spent years studying ideologies, not pragmatism.Even if you work hard and master the art of academic essay writing, it doesn’t amount to much.You simply end up leaving the academic bubble and learning a completely different skill set for your new job.