While perusing Monday’s edition of L’Express, I came across two interesting news items.
Cambridge teaches us how to teach and learn
For a long time, we, Mauritians, have studied by “doing” past-papers. We do that at CPE level, SC level, at HSC level and, perhaps, at University level.
“[…] le recours massif aux questionnaires des éditions précédentes serait anti-pédagogique. Selon le MES et CIE, cette pratique inciterait à apprendre par coeur au lieu de véritablement connaitre le sujet examiné.”
Now I understand why some University students still try (sorry, it’s not possible to do that at tertiary level…) to learn what we teach them by heart. Heck, some students try to learn C or Java programs by heart. It’s because that’s how they have (more or less) always learned.
We need to do something in Year I to address that. We need to introduce some kind of “How to learn and succeed at University” module!
Poor, poor Mrs Toorab
Another beautiful article caught my eye.
It is an article on this pathetic decision of the Ministry of Education to ask all primary teachers to use correction fluid (tippex, blanco, …) to “correct” prescribed books used by 5 years old kids where it is said that one Mrs Toorab is wearing a swimming suit.
The books are then supposed to be checked by the school master who has to send a report to the Ministry.
I don’t like this situation at all. Instead of focussing and wasting resources on such trivial issues, the Ministry should focus its energy to understand what CIE is telling us and how far we are from a good (I’m not saying perfect) education system and do something about it.
Mauritius is small. We don’t have oil or gold. We only have our brains. It’s a crime to destroy the creativity of thousands of little Mauritians every year with our poor education system. And it’s killing our economy too.
About the first photo
In the photo, he is having fun in a zero gravity plane (i.e. he is experiencing something that astronauts feel – weightlessness) even though he is almost completely paralyzed…
He is one of the greatest scientist and philosopher living today. I am a big big fan of him. I even have two of his books.
He is currently the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
I suppose he didn’t study by “doing” Cambridge past-papers when he was younger :-)
PS: I’ll talk of AJAX in my next post :-)