Think outside the box for education

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the editor:
As I was sitting in the cubicles of Weldon library, furiously studying for my exam that was the next day, I took a break to pause and reflect why I had waited to the very last day to begin my studies. Is it because I don’t care about getting good grades? No. Is it because I am a lazy person? I would argue not. Eventually I landed on this conclusion and to what I believe is the cause of procrastination among students: a boring and irrelevant education.

In order to encourage diligent and productive work out of a student, you must first create passion and interest. Students today are forced to endure tediously boring subjects and to supposedly get a solid background in further courses, when any student that has taken a compulsory math credit such as statistical science can attest to never even coming close to using that information ever again.

The purpose of higher education has always been to encourage new ideas and perspectives and I believe the creativity and potential that is radiating out of young students is getting stomped on by professors forcing students to cram pointless math equations into their heads.

We have entrusted these teachers with the task of moulding young minds to become brilliant leaders of tomorrow " let us not stand by as they hammer them into mediocre ordinary brains of the status quo. With times changing as they are, universities should be striving to create well-rounded, innovative visionaries that can shape the new world into a better state.

The world needs this type of “out-of-the-box” thinkers in all fields " business, politics, engineering, etc. All these fields are begging for a new idea, a new way to moderate the volatile stock market, a new diplomatic approach to the Israel/Palestine conflict, a new eco-friendly mode of transportation. These solutions will not come from looking at the past, but looking towards the future; they will not come from learning how to calculate pie to the 10th decimal point but they will come from open discussion, brainstorming and abstract ideas.

Classes should be structured as so: the teacher will provide the students with necessary tools and knowledge to solve a particular problem, the class is an open forum where possible solutions are proposed and either broken down or furthered through class discussion and professor guidance. I believe this will create much more effective and productive classes.

Albert Einstein once said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In a world where we have many problems, from social to economical, that have arisen from old ways of thinking, do we want our youth to insanely continue the same train of thought and essentially the same path of destruction? I think not. Imagine instead of having 30,000 students cramming old outdated ideas into their heads at exam time we had 30,000 unique thinkers collaborating and testing new ideas to make the world a better place. Which is more useful?

Ask me to study for a stats exams and I might yawn and tell you I’ll do it later. Ask me to solve world hunger and you might just get my undivided attention and dedication.
" Rashad Misheal

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