12 Jan 2005

Money or Values?, The Singaporean Question?


Please click on comic for larger version

A rather interesting comment that for me largerly sums up a rather long interaction and comments section to an article entitled,'Cogito'.

Anonymous said...
Some of those who have posted comments on the original article have taken Mr. Mc Dermott's comments as a personal attack.

Some of the replies are even irrelevant and fail to show an understanding of the the aritcle.
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Mr. Mc Dermott's experience with students wanting to be spoon fed is not confined to Singapore but a phenomenon that plagues educational systems around the world.

Jamie Han Li Chou's reply is well written. I don't think it's too late for change but given the nature of some of the other comments to this thread, it seems some wouldn't even understand what the 'change' is.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too many comments for the previous entry. Of course there are some students who prefer not to be spoon fed. It is, however, unfortunate that this minority tends not to "perform" as well as the spoonfed majority. The students are perhaps not as worrying as a system that encourages and rewards spoon-fed people.

M

Rudicus said...

Unfortunately this is not a phenomenon that is limited to Singapore. The U.S. education system is in an equally decrepit state. Having spent much time in Higher Education, it is beyond remarkable to me how little critical thinking is done.

For the vast majority they have no idea why they are in school other than to get a job or because they have to - for whatever reason. It's this amazing ability to cow-tow that is so remarkable. University was supposed to be the place where you learned how to think and had the freedom to explore your beleifs and speak your mind.

Nothing could be further from the truth - money rules all. Due to grants/government funding/private donations - the golden rule now applies exclusively - whomever has the gold makes the rules. Since pretty much all academic life from the students through the instructors is controlled at the whim of those who hold the purse - education has become watered down to the point of nothingness.

The result: Free thinkers go to the web and blog, becoming more auto-didactic by the day, while they erode themselves while working in delerium at some job just to pay those pesky bills.

The worst part of all this is that the people who would be truly talented instructors, teachers and mentors have spurned education for the corporation where the dollars are fat and the people are fatter - leaving the painfully mediocre to carry the educational torch. Leaving us with secondary school educators who think that Lutherans worship Martin Luther and Hanukkah is a pagan holiday - or worse, permanently derange their students by skipping over the whole evolution thing and telling them fairy tales.

Enjoy the battle - at least it's a never ending supply of comic relief.

Agagooga said...

"The worst part of all this is that the people who would be truly talented instructors, teachers and mentors have spurned education for the corporation where the dollars are fat and the people are fatter"

I'm not sure about that. The people who are suited for pedagogics and those suited for business tend to be different.

Rudicus said...

Point taken, but my comment was more about people who WERE gifted at teaching who chose to go into the business world because they either couln't teach properly and/or be paid properly. In the U.S., teachers on the whole are not paid well at all, so for someone who was very intelligent and a good instructor - it would not be an ideal career move for them because they could almost be guaranteed double their income by working in the business world vs. teaching.

So in the end you get a predominent teaching corp consisting of people who are idealists or for whom the salary of teaching was a step up - which when combined with all the regulations, rules, frivolous lawsuits and other restrictions produces a very mediocre group churning out very mediocre students.