University Education (reform/rethink)

Dear All,

I have always been disgruntled by my education. This originates from my Dyslexia, yet I also know I am smart(I dont want to seem arrogant). I have always maintained acceptable grades, yet have always know that, those grades dont reflect my understanding or work put into the course material. Due to my learning disability, I have always been critical of the learning system that the U.S. has in place.

My first year of university I spent at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, for engineering. I then transferred to Michigan tech. Giving me some spectrum on how classes can be taught. This last year, I was required to take a World Cultures class. I had went to a Catholic school for middle school, yet was from an agnostic/ atheist family. My father took the time to tutor me in the differences of Hinduism and Buddhism. This knowledge combined with my 13th year of high school (gap year, for I had graduated) in Turkey, gave me quite a perspective of the influences of culture. After my first class, I approached the professor and explained that I would like to do something different if possible because I felt that it would be mostly repetitive for me to do the standard work. That and being a transfer student, I felt more aware of how I wanted to learn and didnt need the class to let me adjust to the University education. Fortunately, my professor was very open minded about the idea and guided me on developing my own syllabus which, I then had to follow through on. Completing the semester by writing a 20 page paper on what I did, and ultimately why it was worthwhile.

This experience enabled me to understand, that if I want something (a better education) that it may not exist, and that I can make it. Hence my new goals. First, to better the learning process for myself, with the intentions of making it possible for all students at universities.

This semester I aim to meet with professors and inquire about altering the way that I am evaluated. This would require more work for me, and I want to keep it that way such that I dont overwhelm my professor with just my needs. This would also show that I am taking the initiative in my education.

The root of my frustration comes from the fact that am a computer engineering student, this is two fold. One, Moore’s law. Technology is advancing so quickly, most of what I am learning is archaic, and I’m doing it by hand, and being evaluated on that. Secondly being an engineering student, I have seen that every material and field has too much information for one individual to know. I feel that the present university system is attempting to teach everyone from the bottom up. By this I mean that they want you to know how everything works as you work your way up(as in math, you learn alg, alg 2, precalc, calc…). However in computers I dont feel this is the best way. Last year I took a course on circuits 1, which is not even enough information to build yourself a analog radio. Furthering my frustration, I was tested on if I could get the correct answer on problems solving it by hand. I just simply cant for see anyone in the working environment being required to do that!

What I would like. This is where I have come to a stall. I really want to integrate the computer, programming and information on the internet into education as these are all resources I consider beyond stupid to ignore. I can understand that Universities have difficulty keeping up. AKA I dont really blame them. Also because they employ professionals who aim for 10 year, its difficult to maintain top industry technology. My personal strength is understanding the theory such that I can move on, as many of the problems that I do for homework and test can simply be solved on a simulator, and I have been told, really should be. I fully agree, I use to write my statics homework in an excel sheet so I could change then numbers because I would make mistakes.

The best case scenario I can think of for a class is in mathematics, or some class heavily dependent upon math such that I can prove my understanding of problems through programming them -so I can solve for all number sets- and then making alterations of my original code to include another similar yet distinct problem. This would just be to prove that I understand the theory behind how to solve the problem.

The two things I would like to hear about.
1.) What aspects of education (preferably university) have you found troubling?
2.) How do you envision learning? I want these ideas such that I can take them to my professors this semester, and attempt to implement them upon myself, and then write and potentially publish a report of my learning.

Thanks for you help and comments.

August 27, 2013 at 11:51 am
Conner J. (1,558) (@connerj93) 8 years ago ago

@shaylemurray, The aspects of education that i’ve found troubling is that once you pick a major, whether you believe you’ll like that major or not, you must complete courses designed for that field, regardless of whether they are relevant or not. I’d rather take classes that interest me and go towards my major field than taking bullshit classes that have nothing to do with it whatsoever. It’s like you major in Art and humanities but somewhere along the line you are required to waste your time with business and algebra. . .

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 8 years ago ago

i envision a reform of psychiatry and an integration with~in education

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