Friday, November 20, 2009

The education we are in today

I was studying my lecture notes when I found something very interesting to work on. Two variance formulas that are very different. So I tried to play with them to see if they will arrive at one another. I spent a lot of time doing it. Anyway, these formulas are not going to come out for exams. I did it out of curiosity.

After I derived the formulas, I posted it on my course discussion forum, to ask others if this is correct.

My prof replied. He asked me 'I wonder why you were not spending your time more wisely?  In addition, why are you spending precious time deriving on your own when the derivation is on the lecture note?'

I am pretty shocked by his words. Why is he reprimanding students for trying to learn beyond the lecture notes? Why is he encouraging students to only study what will be out for the exams? I thought studies was for intellectual curiosity, especially at higher level education. Syllabus and exams are meant to be a guide, not a restriction. It appears that my prof feels that our precious time should be used to ace exams, not to learn. The response from my professor was truly disappointing, letting me see how some others are viewing education to be.

No wonder after so many years, I still don't want to live in Singapore for the rest of my life.

Disclaimer: This is a personal interpretation of my prof's response, it is neither definitive of what my prof meant, nor a representative view of all education workers in Singapore.

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