Friday, July 23, 2010

The Real Challenge for Higher Education

Original Article

Summary goes here!

Basically, Mr. Walters' observation matches that of mine - the major problem of the US education ( not just the higher education) is in the culture, which I used to term it: attitude/responsibility (see my various post here and in my old archive). Being a person originated from one of the Asian countries, I was able to point this out quite a few years back. With kids growing up in the US and went through the teens, I can feel these even more personally.

I can certainly confirm that the education culture where I came from is quite different from that of American. However, it is not necessary in the way Mr. Walters described. When I grew up, teachers do hold highly authoritative and respective positions as they traditionally do. In addition to that, the opportunity to attend college is quite limited. Only about 30% of high school graduates will be admitted into colleges. College entrance exam is how fates are determined. Study is not an option but a mandate. Well, yes, there are still students that would not study. But, in general, there is that pressure. The exam culture is also extended to any government job. You have to pass exam to hold certain government jobs. Even in the business world, diploma still hold a lot of water.

After I left the country, the country went through a massive education reform led by a Nobel laureate, who naively believed in the US education system. The country is now posting a college going rate of almost hindered percent. But as you might have imaged, this does not translate to the overall education gain - graduates from the dumbed down institutions are simply not well-educated.

If you think about this a bit, it may make sense to you: If the college admission is given, what will drive a student to study hard? Once in the college, what can a professor do? Can he or she failed all the students? As you can see, this is what the entitlement built on!

I certainly admire the open enrollment system of the US community college system which provides a second chance for people failed to learn in high school. However, I believe in that a person will not learn unless he wanted to learn. A person should be required to demonstrate his will by passing a high standard remedial education.

The 'culture' do not come easy. It is built on the responsibility. The whole society have to be asked to take responsibility. This may include cruel laws - in American's standard.

I always admired American's giving spiritual. However, there are cases that the giving spiritual diminished the requisition of responsibility.

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