Bridgewater Township, United States
Let's Mend Borders in Education Together, One Pencil at a Time.
My name is Vineeth Vaidyula, and I attend high school in New Jersey. Since middle school, I have always been fond of teaching others, whether it be through one-on-one homework sessions during lunch, group STEM experiments over the weekends, or even afternoons of BrainPOP or Khan Academy at my house (with an added bonus of taffy, chocolate, and lollipops :) ). Whenever a struggling student needed help, I would reach out and make sure they caught up with the class in terms of the material being learned and mastered the underlying concepts, which were taught prior, that they may have missed or been uncomfortable with (because learning is an additive process - the foundation has to be set before the frame is constructed). After a couple of years of tutoring and holding study sessions, I realized that one of the biggest problems affecting students today is personalized learning: what worked in the past - lengthy lectures given to large bodies of students - doesn’t work now. With professions, careers, and industries diversifying, students - the world’s future leaders, workers, and changers - must be able to think broadly and apply the knowledge that is learned, but lectures are not successful in helping students accomplish this at all. Students need individualized learning because not everyone works at the same pace and not everyone is interested in the same things. However, individualized and personalized learning is currently limited to only those who are wealthy enough to afford it: test-prep and tutoring companies are very expensive, costing many thousands of dollars, and with twenty-two percent of U.S. children at or below the poverty line, it is becoming increasingly pertinent that schools themselves provide their teachers with the training and resources needed to provide their students with personalized training to make them successful at being not just learners, but appliers and thinkers. By doing so, even those who have been barred from personalized learning due to socioeconomic disparity can achieve success in the classroom and beyond.