Thursday, October 16, 2008

My "Issue" Essay, NO.9

TOPIC: ISSUE51 - "Education will be truly effective only when it is specifically designed to meet the individual needs and interests of each student."
WORDS: 588 TIME: 00:50:00 DATE: 2008-10-16 14:28:20

In this statement, the speaker points out that the educator should design every student's education plan for their own needs and interests. In my view, I also admit the importance of taking different method of education according to every single student; however, I argue that this method is not practice in the present condition and we need to find a compromising way.

To begin with, I concede that if we want to cultivate a child successfully, the best way is that take his/her individual situation- including needs and interests- into consideration. Twenty-five centuries ago, the great thinker and educator, Confucius, pointed out a similar educational theory- "educating according to one's characteristic", which means what knowledge a student should learn and what kind of method his/her teacher takes should be determined by the very student's private conditions. In Confucius' age, human's knowledge was quite limited, in comparison to our time. Now we have too many academic fields: from art to logic, from linguistics to science, from history to engineering. Even in the field of engineering, there are also hundreds of specified subject: electric engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, biological engineering, etc. It is hard for one person to study more than two of them, let alone all these subjects. One the other hand, common sense informs me that, every student is unique, and has his/her her own talent to perform excellent in one of these fields. As a result, one can be trained to success, if he/her is educated with suitable discipline and suitable method.

Nevertheless, I am obliged to point out that it is not possible to train every single child in this way, for the cost is too high for our society to afford. If educators have to design training plans for every student, the amount of work is so large that our current number of teachers and indicator is far from enough. In most counties in the world, like United States, or United Kingdom, the expense of education takes less than ten percent of the GDP and people worded in educational career is also insignificant. Although the method is definitely a good one, our current educational resource is not adequate to afford it.

To trade off the revenue and the expense, I propose a compromising solution. This solution includes two parts: (1) classifying the students into different groups, (2) providing different method to students in different studying period. Maybe we cannot offer different education for every student, but we can divide students into groups. In every group, students have similar background and characteristics. Thus, we do not to prepare millions of educational plan; instead, perhaps one hundred plans are enough, if we classify students into one hundred groups. In each group, students are trained to work in different fields in future. The other part of the solution is that, we do not need to design specified plan for students in every grades. When children are below 15 years old, what they need is almost the same: extensive but basic knowledge in every field, so we can provide the same educational plan to every student. When they step into high school or college, we are obliged to provide different plans to meet their further needs. Finally, to those graduate students, educator must provide unique plan for every single student, as they have reached the top level of our education level.

In conclusion, I argue that, considering the present social resource for education is limited, the best way of education cannot be practice, but we can take some alternative methods that might help us to form a better education system.

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