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|Education Policies with a Vision|
|Nov 9, 2005 22:24|
|Maria Ejilda Castellano is the rector of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela. Her vision of education inspired me: this kind of thinking could transform China...|
"Is the point of a university education to prepare a youth for a job? No. It is to teach a student to think. It is, moreover, to teach a student to learn and to use that learning in the world.
We have always said that education is not just to create professionals. Education is much more than that. Knowledge is power, and more people with knowledge empowers the whole population. Educating women empowers not only the women educated, but the whole population. Creating critical thinkers, a population of intellectuals, is a much more profound project than just preparing people for jobs.
This country, this world, is changing and will continue to change... We have a model of development in this country that demands a new kind of professional. If the government is trying to diversify the economy, these new professionals will have a place in the development of the country. And I am willing to bet that there will be plenty of work for the professionals we create. I am not talking about jobs. I am talking about work. Those are two different things.
She has much more to say at http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/
|Nov 9, 2005 22:48|
|We have correct capability to think sth,even more important than which kind of job we can get after graduation!!!|
|Dec 15, 2005 00:50|
|However, there is always a paradox... |
"We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality." - Albert Einstein
|Dec 15, 2005 01:56|
|Further more, China now seems to have more freedom for our out-cast highly educated free thinkers. What's on offer for the creative in the west - systems engineer? Is this the "Rise of the Creative Class" Who would have thought - the Uni - The first step in the road capitalist (re)education. Or is it just another case of history repeating. Like Darwin, Einstein and Huxley. The truly educated must seek further vision from the new worlds. Why, after all what use is free thinking in a society run by educated robots.|
|Dec 15, 2005 12:17|
|What I do admire in China is that the intellectual has respect. In the West, 'clever' people are increasingly treated with suspicion. Chinese people in general look up to those who use their minds - both academically and creatively. |
Where it does get let down, however, is the failure of the education system to foster the intellect. Classes are prepared to be memorised by students - an almost useless tool, when paper records the same knowledge with 100% accuracy, and that the knowledge is useless without being understood by thinking minds.
In a positive light, I see more and more evidence that China's education system is - perhaps slowly, but with increasing momentum - improving. And that is very good news.
|Dec 15, 2005 20:34|
|Where I teach the classes are still taught (for the majority) by teachers sat at the front of the class reading out of a book. With no emphasis on students 'thinking' or 'creating' anything. What use is any knowledge if you can't interact with it ?|
|Dec 18, 2005 22:10|
|“It is estimated that in 20 years more people in China will be speaking English as a second language than native speakers of English world-wide”– China Today|
I’ve done the rounds of schools 50-60 per class with an enphis on drilling the children. In such circumstances there isnt much else you can do I fear, and like most state run education in China there is no room for individualized lessons and fostering creativity in such an environment. On the other hand I also run private tutoring, where I spend one on one time with a student, expanding dialogues and fostering creative language. Working with the student passions and interest to create an enjoyable learning environment. However, in the end only the privileged few in China are able to afford such education, leaving the majority to more traditional methods.
What is the answer? Institutional learning is only a way of facilitating one’s own desire to learn, in the end it is up to the individual - through hard work and a passion to achieve in whatever their goal - be it English, Chinese, Art or life in general. In the today’s world knowledge is a free commodity, to those willing to learn. But I fear our destiny to some degree is well and truly in the hands of the gods - who's ray of light currently shine most favorably on those seeking a humble future behind the bambo curtain.
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