Essay on My Public School Education Experience

1599 Words Nov 30th, 2015 null Page
My public school education experience began in 1976 and concluded in 1989. Between 1975 and the early spring of 1980 I attended school in a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC. The spring of 1980, my family moved to what was at that time a very rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia where I would complete my public education experience. My school experiences, including those involving STEM stand in stark contrast to the experiences I provide for my students.
My elementary teachers relied heavily upon textbooks and mimeographed worksheets for all instruction. Math was taught in a formulaic manner that did not foster an understanding of math concepts. Through drill and kill, students were required to memorize basic computational facts. Standard algorithms were the only method taught and were to be followed with military precision. This method of mathematics instruction and my subsequent struggle with memorizing mysterious multiplication facts haunted me into adulthood and significantly contributed to my decision to abandon a STEM career. Science instruction involved textbook reading and fact memorization. While NASA was developing the Space Shuttle and computers were becoming faster and smaller, my teachers rarely, if ever discussed engineering or technology. As an elementary school student, I only knew of engineers as train operators. The most exciting school science event was watching the Space Shuttle launch on television in the school library. This was the point where I…

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