It is true that lots of students focus on their grades rather than skills and knowledge. For some, it is more important to have high grades to obtain a better job rather than know more to have a good job. Nonetheless, these students do not understand the major point. Even though an employee may have a really good CV, he/she may soon become unemployed as he/she does not have necessary skills and are unable to express their ideas. Obviously, the major aim of education is to prepare students to their future career lives. Therefore, educators should help students develop their critical thinking, creativity and ability to express themselves to make them competitive in the labor market.
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It is necessary to admit that loads of people value high ratings and formal results. For instance, Boyer argues that grades are often perceived as “the formula for success” (83). More so, employers seem to share this view and are willing to employ those who have high ratings. Many educational establishments use this approach and are oriented towards formal assessment. Many educators, employers and even students find this type of assessment easy and functional. Perhaps, it is quite easy to provide certain tests and see what amount of information has been perceived by students. On the other hand, it is still questionable whether the assessment is effective as students may fail to use this knowledge in real-life settings.
Therefore, this approach has already proved to be ineffective. Broyer notes that formal education was a norm in the middle of the twentieth century and students simply recited all material (85). Now it is obvious that with this approach even though students have the required minimum of knowledge, they often lack for broader perspective. For instance, students at a Northeast college during their course in literature were focused on information which could be relevant for their test (Boyer 83). They missed all other exciting and valuable facts as they were concerned with their results. Clearly, it is difficult to call this high quality education as it will not prepare students to a variety of situations when they will have to solve various issues.
The modern world is often referred to as the world of information. Admittedly, those who have more information are more competitive and will be more successful. More so, it is essential to develop creativity and ability to have a broader perspective on different issues. Yutang argues that a person who does not read (and more broadly, does not learn or knows more) is “imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space” (90). The author also emphasizes that from “this prison there is no escape” unless the person starts reading, learning and thinking critically (Yutang 90).
Likewise, students who do not try to gain more knowledge have ‘narrow’ mindsets and are not capable of looking for creative solutions. They simply recite information they do not fully understand. Of course, it is important to know essential facts and be able to use them. On the other hand, it is also crucial to be able to see links between events and to be able to think critically. Luckily, lots of students have already acknowledged benefits of education involving discussion. For instance, prominent students “strongly favored small classes that allow discussion” (Broyer 85). During these discussions, students share their views and question other people’s arguments.
It is necessary to note that people who are able to think critically can actually make a difference and contribute to development of the entire humanity. Thus, being capable of calculating and using various formulas is important whereas it is essential to be able to see different ways to solve an issue. It is possible to think of numerous real-life examples. For instance, educators may help students solve some issues which exist (or existed) at certain period of time. However, it is much more helpful to provide students with tools which can be used to cope with different categories of problems. More so, students should be able to have a broader view on the problem and seek for their own solutions. In this case, people will not feel distressed when they face a new problem but they are ready to start working on the issue. In fact, it becomes unimportant whether a scientist used to get poor grades if he/she develops a tool to save people’s lives.
In conclusion, it is possible to state that people are now starting to understand the value of being able to think critically and creativity. There is no time to educate people who are able to complete some tasks. Humanity needs people who are able to come up with new ways to cope with issues concerning environment, health, technology and so on. Only creative people and those who can reason and see things differently can solve issues and develop new approaches. Of course, young people should be taught how to broaden their horizons and educators are responsible for this.
Boyer, Ernest L. “Creativity in the Classroom.” Guidelines: A Cross-Cultural Reading / Writing Text. Ed. Ruth Spack. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 82-89. Print.
Yutang, Lin. “The Art of Reading.” Guidelines: A Cross-Cultural Reading / Writing Text. Ed. Ruth Spack. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 90-94. Print.