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Yuting Liu

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Education is not about school, is the passion for knowledge.

It is very interesting to me that when ever we talk about education, we automatically thinks of school system and how bad they are at doing their job. True schools were build for the purpose of learning, however from my personal experience I would like to say it is not the only place to be educated.

When Sir Ken Robinson talks about education revolution, I think he missed some of the important points. To me, education revolution does not only mean school reforms, but going beyond schools. What I find so precious about learning out side of school is the willingness to acquire more knowledge. I become fascinated by the subject itself and uncontrollably wanting to know more about it. More importantly it gives me freedom to explore deeper and deeper, there is nothing called curriculum to limit you from learning.

Isn't that what we are trying to achieve in our school system but never succeeded? The true passion for knowledge and limitless curiosity.

I believe we are getting it wrong.School should not be the one and only place of learning. We are not giving our next generation enough time to find out all the possibilities of future. We live in such a complex society today, how can our children know about the lastest achievements when they are still learning knowledge centuries ago?

But please don't get me wrong, I still see school as an incredible place to learn knowledge and skills, and gather with people of the same passion. What I'm seeing is that the tight curriculum seems to be limiting potential

Here I'm calling for a change, to cut down the current curriculum and give children the time and opportunity to find out all the things that intrest them. Let our next generation explore the world freely, and pursuit their life's passion. By doing so they will acquire all the necessary knowledge, because that's what they truly wants to learn.

The value of education is the passion for it. If the children are passionate, why wouldn't they learn.

Topics: education
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    May 27 2013: This may be quite different in different countries. I wonder whether schools in countries that top the charts on assessments that compare students across countries focus more single-mindedly on the details of the subjects that are tested while giving students less freedom than is customary in other countries to select projects that involve their own explorations. I notice you are in Canada, which is a country that does very well on internationally normed examinations.

    Not only can students in some countries construct a program for themselves through their course selections (beyond the basic requirements or to meet basic requirements), but in many places students have many options to choose projects of their own within the common curriculum. For example, do you have science fairs? Opportunities to write for school paper or literary magazine? Choices of which art or music to pursue and which instrument to learn? Do you choose which books to read and share with the class? At this moment my son and a friend are working upstairs on a math project of their choosing which fully occupies the last two weeks of their math class. In the years I have taught secondary math, there was only one year that I did not have students spend several weeks on independent projects with my input.

    I think the value of giving students choices and opportunity to pursue their special interests is very well accepted in the field of education! It seems to me that when I did my student teaching, how well we offered such opportunities was a criterion in our evaluation for readiness to teach.
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      May 30 2013: First of all thank you for leaving your comment here. I've had the idea for a few years and it's exciting for me to know how other people think about it.

      It's great to hear you students loved what they are doing, and such opportunities were build in to the program as a criterion. I hope we can encourage these opportunities in different systems and offer them to students all over the globe.

      When I was attending elementary school in China, every lesson was tightly designed. Questions were only asked by the teachers and answered by students. They don't even ask " Does anyone has questions?" in class, because there was no time for it, and I only realized how strange it was after studying abroad.

      I was lucky to have private lessons by great experienced teachers during weekends, and there I gained all my interest in learning. She showed me the logical thinking behind the questions, and there was no need for equations because I can write them out myself. However my poor friends were board to death by the lessons in school, with tight the schedule no wonder why they didn't like learning.

      Going to high school is even worse, by Grade 12 most students come home at 10PM. The pressure of University entrance exam so is high that forces students to study extra hard. The chinese high school only offer 2 options which students has to choose after first year of high school, Arts or Science. It's a very strange system, and had been criticized by the public for a long time.

      Situation does vary from country to country, but I think schools across the world should in deed give students more opportunity to pursuit their fascination. I've seen so many people in their 20s and have no idea about what to do with their life. I was lucky to have a dream at the age of 16, and that was all because of what I had been doing in my spare time. I hope by giving students more time and opportunities, they could find their life's passion and a motivation for life long learning.

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