Kai-Xin Young

Children's Medical Research Institute
Sydney, Australia

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Kai-Xin Young
Posted almost 3 years ago
What were some things related to personal finance you wish you were taught earlier on in high school that you only learned later in life?
I was taught how to do complex interest rate, debt payment and commission calculations before I started high school. It wasn't until after high school that I knew how these things applied to my life. I didn't know that I actually accrued interest in my savings account since I was 5. These things were all abstract. I didn't actually know what commission or mortgage was and how/when people got them. I just knew how to calculate repayments, installments, etc. What use is teaching students to do such calculations, if you don't relate it to its applications? I wish this was addressed in high school.
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Kai-Xin Young
Posted almost 3 years ago
Why did you go to University/College?
Much like other posters here, going to university after finishing high school was the natural progression for me. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into a double degree program (i.e. I graduate with two bachelor degrees), where I could pursue my interests in science and "learn useful and practical things about commerce". So I guess for me it's a bit of A and B. It would be interesting to ask "Did your educational institution enable you to do A and/or B?" I am actually in my final year of university now and it is quite frightening. I say this because unlike many other students I don't want to just graduate and take on a job that's typical for someone with my qualifications. There is broad career support for those seeking to work in the banking/finance, legal and engineering sectors. There are internships, vacation programs, traineeships and graduate schemes. University can really prepare you for entering the workforce via these programs. Unfortunately, I am not one of those students that wants to partake in these programs in these areas because they do not lead to the career I want to pursue. I have several ideas that I want to develop and put into action. Things that I want to do so that when I die I would die thinking "I've accomplished something in my life". However, I lack the resources and experience to bring my ideas to fruition at the moment, so I need to find a role that would give me the relevant experience and get in touch with more forward thinkers. I have some idea of where to go for that, but university sure didn't prepare me or others in the same boat as me. In short, I went to (and am at) university so I could graduate and pursue a career that I am passionate about. Universities provide good job prospects, but poor support to those that wish to pursue a career. To improve this would require industry-wide and inter-faculty cooperation.
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Kai-Xin Young
Posted about 3 years ago
What if the TED Community worked together to build the model 21st century learning environment? What would it look like?
When I saw this idea, I just had to join and comment. As a student, when I consider the education system, the first point I think of is the teachers. They are the ones implementing the system and my most frequent point of contact with the system. Now, learning is mostly exciting to kids when they are young, but then this generally lessens as they get older. Why is that? The answer is in the difference in which things are taught. I believe changing the teaching approach would also be valuable. When you are young, you are taught through demonstrative means - that is, teachers communicate theory to kids by showing. Think back to how you learnt to tie your laces - someone showed you the way, right? In K - 6, science and art was always the most exciting lessons because it was hands-on and we were shown theories. You were engaged in learning, understood the theory, and could see how it applied outside of school. You acquired knowledge and skills. At some point in 7 - 12, showing becomes telling. This is when you (and many teachers too!) become disinterested and started to really question whether what you learnt was really applicable outside of school. You were exposed to more subjects and were told theories in them. You memorised a lot of theory, but did not understand it and could not put it into practice outside of school. The theory stuck in your head up until exams, then you forgot it. You may have understood and remembered some of that theory, so that was the knowledge you acquired, but what about the skills? How much of that theory could you actually put into action? Mostly limited, I'd say. A demonstrative approach to classroom instruction would engage students and teachers more, and encourage understanding, not just memorising. With the wealth of classroom technologies these days, there has got to be more and better ways to educate kids other than just telling. My best teachers demonstrated by exemplifying themselves, drawing, videos, role-playing, etc.