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Ameneh's picture

In class, someone brought up

In class, someone brought up whether or not the system did get anything right. Although I agree that giving students “creative freedom” in their education can produce interesting results, I also feel like its is unfair to assume that all students want creative freedom or dislike structure. For me personally, I rigid guidelines for what I am expected to do. Take this class, for example, we were told that everyone would get a decent grade if we did everything we were told to do and to do better than that we would have to do something different, surprise ourselves. I wonder why just doing as you’re told isn’t enough, if you do it well? I understand that students may feel inhibited, limited and powerless when they’re told exactly what to do and how to do it but its contrary can be equally harmful. By asking or expecting students to be creative, wouldn’t we unconsciously make things harder for those who don’t want or need that creative space, not because they don’t want the effort, but because it’s just not their thing? I wonder if it’s possible to allow students to choose what system of education they prefer. Have structure for those who want it and creative freedom for those who don’t?

 
As far as science is concerned, though, I definitely agree that there are no facts, as such, and no universal objective truths. Just because something hasn’t been proven wrong, does not mean it’s right. I remember in a sociology class in school,  we were having a “is science scientific?” discussion and someone said that it is impossible for science to be objective, because even choosing what to study reflects a bias. I think that’s very interesting. We all came to this class for a reason (that education is worth studying/discussing) and that reason is a bias that will inevitably color our thoughts and discussions. At the same time, I feel like that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t mean science is all wrong, it just means that we should be aware of the fact that our current state of understanding is subjective and potentially may be completely false. (After all, in the past it was widely accepted the earth was flat, but that was clearly wrong). That is, however, difficult to do as it is years of understanding, research and all that has brought the world where it is today and potentially it could all mean nothing; that’s difficult to come to terms with. More than shared subjectivity, I feel like science is so powerful because as human beings, we have a need to think we are in control of everything But, it’s very hard to ignore that we’re really not in control of everything. Things like floods and earthquakes and other natural disasters, for example, are beyond our control and  have the power to wipe out years of work and construction within minutes. Why, then, do we want to understand and control everything?
 
Language acquisition was also talked about in class and how children pick up language without being taught formally. I have a friend from Pakistan (where Urdu is the national language) who lived there her whole life, but can’t speak it very well. On the other hand, I always knew Urdu but I was also taught it in school till my A-Levels which is why I can speak it fluently. I would say you can ‘pick up’ a language to an extent, but to go beyond that, structure or formal teaching is probably necessary.  

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