Thursday, August 16, 2007

Education Is What You Make out of It.

To clarify my point, I would like to tell you what happened today at lecture. It was one of those early 8a.m morning lectures where you arrive in class groggy eyed, sometimes without having breakfast. For Asian students, that can be a really daunting task...but I did. Nevermind, but that's another story.

Anyways, my lecturer Deborah G. told us of the 4th Year students who bring back disheartening reports after their final primary school practicuum (the one where they have to teach a mostly multi-age classroom class).

The thing is that at university (at least at mine), student teachers are taught the different learning pedagogies set out by the government board and supposedly adopted at school. i.e, such as using play based pedagogies, having a more child, or learner-centred classroom context, etc.

But the reality of the situation is that many primary schools still adhere to the traditional context of teaching and learning, which is really teacher-centred, although it may not be as wholly teacher-centered, rote memory based or worksheets centred at traditional Asian schools, as they incorporate some form of classroom interaction in the classroom. Many students find it disheartening that what they learn at universities, is not the same as when they go out to the real place.

This morning I was seated with a group of female students. For me, it was disheartening for me as they were busily gossiping about how the entire education system was not working for them (this is in Queensland), and going on and on negatively about the whole entire education system.

There I was thinking, hmmm..... if they think their system is bad, wait till they come to where I come from!

It was a surprise for me because I had never expected to hear such comments especially within a tertiary education context, or within a white community. Perhaps I had thought that only Asians would think that way, but it was probably I expected that white people would be more optimistic or enthusiastic about what they expected or wanted. Nonetheless.

Of course, the next thing that came to mind was what a friend of mine, Tom did. The words that came to mind was "Education is what you make out of it". More so for a teacher.

I believe that a teacher needs to be of strong will, and have an idea of what they believe in order to be able to an effective teacher. ( In this context, it does not take into account teachers who have never had professional training). Rather, it is what the teacher knows her/himself to be right, and sticks to it without being overwhelmed by the entire education system. I believe that the will to be strong is what one needs to survive.I have done it before.

I believe that others can do it too.

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