“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
At this time, I think this is desperation. I’m having an exam tomorrow at 10 am, so I should be studying right now, getting ready for my oral exam in order to get a good grade and to feel accomplished afterwards with a huge mug of coffee and a great film, like the Dark Knight, or something even better. So why do I not study? That’s what I’ve been thinking of as well, and I felt like I should state my opinion to a wider audience.
I’m attending a college currently, and to be honest I didn’t quite know what I should expect from higher education at first place when I got accepted. I knew that it was going to be harder, I should be more individual, so generally the standards were higher, and still are higher than in high school. But the idea of education never changed, only the amount of hours spent with studying and the subjects of course. What got me thinking is the expectation of the system itself: the students should be able to sit enough and memorize enough sentences of the given subjects, and should be able to present it to the responsible teacher in the exact same way as they learned it. So the challenge of higher education is the ability of getting as much of knowledge as possible – already figured out and said out loud by brilliant professionals – in our heads, and reproduce that on a piece of paper. If you are lucky, you are given the chance to express your thoughts on the given topic. I should not be generalizing higher education as one, there are amazing examples mostly in anglo-saxon countries, I know, this is only my recent experience.
If we look at education in general, there were few drastic changes regarding the educational structure, the methods, the education materials recently. If we look at the other side, so the ones who are attending these institutions, there were changes between the generations, that do require attention and some alignment from these institutions as well. There are very few universities and colleges which are using up-to-date digital equipments, which are eager to observe the students’ habits and needs frequently, and most rarely which are able to react to these needs. I’d really prefer for example an argument as an exam. Or I could also imagine selecting a topic at the beginning of a course, work on that topic – e.g.: creating a case study, market analysis, etc. – and present the results at the end of the course in my own, unique way.
Higher educations should prepare all of us for being competitive on the labour market, it should shape our way of thinking, widen our perspective, develop our skills and competencies, and provide us tools to carve our own ways and personalities.