The reason I decided to go to a university in American instead of my own country is because I don’t like the idea of education in China. I went to one of the best high schools in Beijing, which is famous for its extraordinarily high college enrollment rate. As a student who had studied in there for three years, what I saw in my high school is that students and teachers paid more attention on how to get good grade, instead of genuine learning and teaching. Personally, I have never learned how to answer short essay questions about subjects such as history and politics.
The one subject I have never understood is the philosophy of Marxism, which is a required course of every Chinese student. When an exam question said, “explain dualism”, there ought to be more than one right answer, but we were told that we can only write down what Marx has to say about that matter, and other philosophers were all wrong. I cannot deny the importance of grades and high scores, since students depend on the college entrance examination to get admissions of their dream schools. And eventually I learned how to reply questions as teachers expected us to, even though I didn’t agree with some of the so-called right answer.
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However, grades should not be the only thing that matters – high schools suppose to provide students a simple academic environment, which enable students to broaden their horizon, instead of controlling students to study the same range of knowledge over and over again. As my point of view, education is a way of gathering information which gives people varies opportunities and choices. In which case, the education method of my high school that only study things would appear in the exam is not appropriate.
It fined a boundary of knowledge we need to know, so the vision of students is too narrow for them to pursuit more opportunities out there of a overall scope. Education should help people to collect as much information as possible. Especially when we are young, everything is so unpredictable that we need more information in order to figure out what kinds of lives we want in the future. As Mark Edmondson had said in the article Dwelling in Possibilities, “every student has been submitted to what Socrates liked to call addax, common sense, general belief”, though students already have some accomplished opinions, that’s not enough.
We have been told who we are and what the world is by people we trust – there is nothing wrong of following parent’s’ steps, because students were raised by those who value certain things, and they may decide that those ideas and lifestyles are purpose they want to achieve, but those “addax, common sense, general belief” are what others told us to value, not our own Judgment. It is education that enable people to find out goals that really suitable for us. As a consequence, the reason people need education is because knowledge offers us considerable numbers of choices in order to have a otter understanding of ourselves.
However, after spending one semester in the university, I started to wondering, is collecting numerous intimations tort educational purposes really enough? Have observed around campus was surprisingly consistent with what Mark Edmondson had described in his article in 2008, “they want to study, travel, make friends, make more friends, read everything(superstars), take in all the movies, listen to every hot band, keep up with everyone they’ve ever known. ” He also pointed out that “they live to multiply possibilities.
They’re enemies of closure. For as much as they want to do and actually manage to do, they always strive to keep their options open, never to shut possibilities down before they have to. ” That is the problem of dwelling in possibilities. People focus on getting more experiences, and they have no capacity to stay in put in one place for long. Thanks to the modern technology and the development of the Internet, we constantly living in states of information overload.
People are craving for information; they desperately wanted to know what other people were doing, and sometimes blindly following there’ actions because they wanted to make sure they were doing everything. Trying something new, such as traveling around 11 countries in Europe within one month, and volunteering in kindergarten during the summer, gives them a sense of security that they have not missed any parts of their lives. Students want to learn everything, experience everything; they cursorily glance each possibility, and try new things in a shallow depth.
They believe they have learned, since they kept moving and never stopped. Mark Edmondson told an example in his article Dwell in Possibilities about a leafless, pale young woman, who was a student of him. When she came into his office and tried to have a delay of her 40 pages essay, Edmondson asked her about the classes she had taken during this semester. He told his student that she had taken too much courses – seven courses in one semester, including an audits. The similar situation happened around us, too.
I have known a friend who had 21 or 22 credit hours classes during one of their freshmen semester. She was always exhausted, and every time I ran into her in campus, the only topic we discuss is how many paper she had left or how many lab report she had to write. Once I suggested her that she should probably drop one or two courses, but she looked at me as if I had said something ridiculous. She said, “No, I can’t”, but she has never told me why she had to take all those courses, and I guess she had no idea herself, either.
The life paces of college students are too fast for them to properly experience. The desire of experiencing everything and keeping all the possibilities open would eventually lead them to the failure of genuine education. In the article of Edmondson, he said, “For students now, life is elsewhere. Classes matter to them, UT classes are Just part of an ever-enlarging web of activities and diversions. Students now seek to master their work – not to be taken over by it and consumed. People such as my friend and Edmondson students felt necessary to take as much course as they can, not because they truly wanted to learn that much, but because they think they are suppose to and others expect them to. Students are always on the motion, but at some point in their movement, they need to stop and think, or at least slow it down and look back to see what they nave missing. They nee by what they have learned in order to be educated, not vise versa. D to be taken over Therefore, I think I should adjust my previous opinion about education.
After acquiring shallow understanding of various opportunities, people need to have exploration of some of those possibilities. We could consider the process of education as walking in a forest; you cannot clime every tree you have passed, and you cannot walk through the forest only knowing what it looks like from the ground level. What you need to do is to choose one or two trees, climb them on the top, and then you will see the forest from a completely different level, a level no one else have achieved.
Education is a way to go through this forest, and more important, it is what assist us to choose which trees we like to climb. Understanding the world and ourselves by take the opportunities life has to offer is the first step of education. And this idea is viable when people were in their young ages, while they were trying to find out the truth about themselves. However, it is an incomplete method of education. People need to explore what they thought they have already understand, and try to learn how to see things differently, like Edmondson has said, “genuine education is a process that gives students a second chance. “