Friday, October 14, 2011

Observations on the Education Model

My Philosophy adviser asked me to tell her about my feelings on the education model here in England. This is what I noted, as I figure that you all might be interested.

To be quite honest, I'm finding that I really kind of like the way that they handle lectures and seminars. For a larger school, it's convenient because you have the lecture, go back and read whatever they tell you to, then have a small seminar group with the professor where questions are asked and the readings are broken down. 

Overall, I like the uni way. However, I definitely still prefer taking a lot of different classes. At Lancaster, and most all unis in the UK, the only focus is on your major; the only classes you take are in your major and minor. The way that the minor works is as a fallback major. Lancaster is one of the only universities to operate in this way. I don't really know how I feel about it, but I know that a lot of the students aren't so fond of it. How awful would it be to work so hard at a major and then come to find out after second year you cannot stand it? They only have three years of uni here as well, so that makes it even more difficult.

When it comes to their "college" (our high school), they spend the last two years focusing on a specific subject area. Although this is rather smart, in some ways, I still don't think that it develops the full person as well as a well-rounded education would. I also don't really like how it forces the students to choose what they're wanting to go into at age 16. However, I find it better than the other countries that make them choose closer to 13...

One of the other problems is that the curriculum is heavily test-driven. I've talked to multiple British classmates here about the system and all of them have claimed that it's all about the testing. Also, in uni, there aren't any check-up short papers, but instead just one large paper at the end of term, so that should be interesting. Hopefully all goes well there!

Anyway, I'll write a bit about my Wednesday night later. Thursday I went into town with Tom, and took a few pictures, so I'll attach them later as well. The night ended with a couple hours of reading for my seminars (which I did today) and then hanging out with Matt.

Much love! xx

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