In this modern age of technology that changed the way teachers teach in the class, and how students are retaining course content, the question is raised as to who should be held accountable for students’ academic success or failure? It was once the educators’ duty to ensure that the knowledge we hold be passed onto the hungry minds of students. This process of teaching is referred to as the “Banking Concept,” a phrase that Paul Freire discussed. This method of instruction is where the teachers deposit information into the students’ minds, then leads to them using memorization of information in a specific chronological order. Once upon a time, in the education system, there was no teaching to the test and the idea of Banking Education was used to ensure that students could at least remember dates, names, events and terms. This stored information which was to be applied to exams that measured the level of course comprehension and skills.
Those were the days of old. Today the problem is culpability for our students’ lack of understanding over what is being asked of them in the classroom where the core of learning is supposed to take place. In Adrienne Rich’s Convocation Speech delivered at Douglass College in 1977, she states that “If…education means anything beyond the processing of human beings into expected roles…through test and grades, it implies an ethical and intellectual contract between teacher and student”. Rich statement brings us to the question of teacher accountability and student responsibility. This matter is a debate that the state continues to arguing back and forth due to our students’ failing grades on standardized test. Nowadays, teachers are given report cards based on their classroom performance and on the percentage of students who pass or fail standardized exams. Thus, the state has redirected how course content should be taught and places heavy blame on teachers if they fail to properly prepare students. Moreover, students have been taken out of the learning equation, meaning that they are no longer held liable for their own education.
As stated by Rich “Students are no longer laying claim to what is rightfully theirs.” In other words, they have lost the sense of what they owe to themselves and replaced it with what they feel is owed to them by educators. Basically, Students are refusing to think for themselves, therefore allowing others to dictate how they should be educated. This releases themselves of culpability and encourages using teachers as scapegoats for the reason as to why this nation is turning out poorly prepared students. Parents have also jumped on the band wagon of holding teachers accountable for Johnny not knowing how to read. The parents who are crying foul are the same parents who do not attend PTA meetings, fail to show up at teacher parent conference, and even worst, they do not take the time to sit with their children to assist with homework. Moreover, they feel as others do; it is solely the teacher’s duty to educate their children because that is what the state pays them teachers to do. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The same can be said for educating our children. Pointing fingers, passing the buck and playing the blame game is not going to solve the problem of balancing students responsibilities and teachers culpability in such a highly technology advanced society.