If I am able to create an education system for myself, how would it be? I start wondering, if that system works for me, will it work for others? Let’s see…
A major that I really want
Rather than being allocated to a major by the school management according to the quota or limited vacancies, I choose what I want to study.
Guide is given as a “reference”, instead of stating what are the '”compulsory” courses to study. Reasons are stated as why the guide is made in such a way, so that I know what to do if I don’t follow that.
No prerequisite of taking courses, but recommendation for me, so that I know what I miss out, or what I have to prepare myself when taking the courses.
No time limit, no deadline
2 hours exam, 2 months assignment, 2 week tutorials, are times
given limited by teachers or lecturers. There shouldn’t be time limit for students, time limit is competition. Competition does not apply in creativity, but critical thinking does.
Different time is needed for different individuals to think. Creativity comes from inspiration. One can be inspired in one second, or very long.
Time limit is the most stressful thing ever to everyone. When we need inspiration, our brains need space and we need time. We have to make sure both we and our brains are relaxed, and spaces are prepared to receive the good ideas when answering questions.
When we are stressed, we can’t think properly. We get nervous, we start flipping the pages over and over, and sometimes we don’t even understand what we have read! Without understanding, how are we going to answer the questions?
During exam, with the limited time, limited space for thinking, we can’t provide a good answer. In education system today, everyone is fighting with others within the same limited time, to get the highest score, by throwing whatever answer they can provide, even though they are not accurately answering.
We should be taught to be self-disciplined, but setting deadline is not the way. Let students be aware of what is important, what should be learnt.
Less on grade, more on discipline and mentality
Why do we need grade? So that they can be printed on the transcript, so that we can use it for job interview. What if, the education system is changed globally, so that there’s no grade that employers can refer to?
If I manage to create an education system for myself, I would emphasize on my discipline, mentality, attitude, maturity, instead of grade. These are parts of the criteria we should have in every part of our lives, not just when we interview for a job.
Because, after the employers read through the grade, the transcript is no longer needed! They will only see how we perform, how we contribute to the company, instead of how we upgrade our grade in the company, because there is no way to upgrade it anymore!
Students are fighting hard to achieve as high grade as they can. But, some might sacrifice their health,sleeping less, sports less; sacrifice their entertainment, getting themselves stressed and more stressed; sacrifice their social life, getting themselves isolated. After graduation, what will they have at the end besides grade?
Less competition, more collaboration
Taking away grades, no more competition. Students can sit down together, discuss homework, and cooperate in projects. Taking away the deadline and time limit, collaboration has infinite ideas to contribute.
Collaboration is a real working environment, an environment where we can really learn from people, improve interpersonal skill, and understanding of social responsibility. Attitude is the most important thing in one’s life that determine how one goes in future. Attitude can be ‘adjusted’ to be good by having good social life, communicating with different kind of people, and learn from them.
Failure of this system?
“No time limit? No one will be working!” Well, that’s how people should discipline themselves. Let the students experience the consequences of ‘not doing their work’, and their guiltiness might bring them back to the real discipline, instead of forcing them to complete within the time limit.
“No grade? Who are going to study hard?” Well, that’s how people should learn to think in different way, creatively, critically. We can’t rely on grade, we can’t rely on books. We want knowledge, we want information and message to be delivered to us. Grade is not important in learning, it’s important for the school to determine how good or better a student is. Book is just one of the media in conveying knowledge, but not the only one! Study is also one of the ways to gain knowledge, but not the only one! There are many ways to learn, but not studying hard and getting high grade!
“Free education? School will be crowded! Lecturers are going to starve!” Money is spent to lecturers, exactly. But, isn’t there is so called “finance” or “financial tool”, where business men always use to raise fund, and not asking money from people? Like Facebook, we don’t pay a cents, but they raise fund through advertisement and other capital injection. School is no longer a necessary place for students.
If we really want knowledge, “school” is everywhere. Our surrounding is our school.