Profile plan prepares students for U and life

A startling number of students graduate from high school without elementary knowledge. For example, there are students who do not know when and why World War I was fought or how to structure a term paper. Many students begin their college careers here at the University in General College, a place for students who need to pick up rudimentary classes. Minnesota has established a new grade school and high school program called Profile of Learning in order to better prepare students for college and the workplace. Even though some people have expressed concerns with the program, Profile of Learning is just the face lift that Minnesota education needs.
The main goal of Profile of Learning is to get students out of the classroom and participating in activities that will have practical applications for life after school. These activities shift learning away from teachers and textbooks and toward experiments, teamwork and independent projects. Students may complete projects like writing a report on a school board meeting, solving a deer infestation problem or monitoring traffic at a certain time for a number of days.
Some teachers have complained that the extra work has been a burden, forcing them to keep more records and be more hands-on with students. Fortunately, with Gov. Jesse Ventura’s proposed plan to decrease class sizes to 15 students, teachers will be able to give students the attention they need and deserve in order to succeed. With these projects, teachers will be able to better understand how the student is learning through various tasks.
Concern has also been expressed about the lack of focus on certain learning areas such as literary comprehension and foreign language studies. It is difficult to understand why this would be a problem to adjust when the teachers themselves make the lesson plans. They choose what to teach and how much of it.
The Profile of Learning program has been in the works for almost a decade, but was only recently put into action. The class of 2002 (this year’s ninth grade students) will be the real test of the project’s success. While there has been some opposition to the plan, a change this drastic will need time to work out difficulties. Teachers must give the plan a chance to succeed before rejecting it. We will only be able to measure its success when students begin to complete the program.
This program will benefit students, encouraging them to apply basic knowledge to everyday situations. It will be easier for students to see the practicality of the lessons they learn in school. With more take home assignments, daily journals and an increased number of parent-teacher conferences, teachers and parents will be more accountable for students’ education.
At the University, students will also see the effects of Profile of Learning. By having a broader base of knowledge, students will be able to enroll in the college of their choice instead of paying extra money to learn rudimentary skills in General College.
Profile of Learning gives students the kind of education that is needed for them to have real world knowledge — the kind of knowledge that will help them excel in their further education and their careers. Although it will mean more work for both the teachers and students, the benefits outnumber and will outlast the drawbacks of the program.