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Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls…

07 Apr

… It tolls for thee.

Midterms are over, grades are published. The binding study advice hangs like a sword of Damocles over a number of frustrated freshmen for whom resit exams seem like the only chance of “survival”. Panic spreads to the library (and to infinity and beyond). Suddenly it seems that all those parties, clubbing and procrastination were not such a terrific idea

Time and again, human irrationality and a general inability of people to plan amaze me. (Actually, “flabbergast” would be a better word.) How can humans possibly such grossly underestimate the ramifications of their actions? Why do young, smart and talented university students fall prey to temptations that represent a road to perdition?

It seems to me that this is just a manifestation of a larger, underlying problem: The inability of high schools to teach young people truly useful skills. Sure, high school students may know the exact dates of all wars in the past few centuries, but they have no clue how to deal with real-life situations.

They are unable to accept responsibility for a joint project, cannot defend their opinions, cannot give a presentation on more complex topics, cannot look up information (from a reliable source; and no, Wiki does not count)… and then come to the university unprepared. It is your bet what the result may be.

Thus, I am posing a question: What actually are the skills high school students should master? Is it really the chemical process of photosynthesis, or logical thinking and planning? I would go for the latter.

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Posted by on 7 April, 2012 in Education

 

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