«We have to encourage them to think critically» Jaime
In this post, which is the fifth in its series, David Quintero, Jaime González and Ricardo Martínez express their opinions. Interestingly enough, the three of them apart from being alumni, have a degree in physics and also reply in English.
Ricardo Martínez: Since a few years ago, I have been regularly interacting with students at different stages of their education. Although most of them were close to finish their University degrees, some were just starting their Bachelors or even finishing secondary education.
Focusing on the Spanish system, most of the students usually show good technical skills and, in general, a solid theoretical basis. I would say, however, that there is a very important component lacking in their educations, which is absolutely crucial to avoid giving out when things come in a bad mood. Younger students are usually extremely afraid of failing and making mistakes. This turns into an important lack of initiative when they have to start a project and develop their own ideas. Abilities such as imagination, creativity and self-confidence are, at least, as important as acquiring technical skills. It is our responsibility to educate these youngsters and provide them not only with the knowledge necessary to success, but also with a set of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills needed to make use of that knowledge.
David Quintero: «I think that in order to improve education, we have two ways. None of them is easy, but I think one of them isfar easier than the other. The «easy» one is to introduce more the technology in class. There are a lot of different web pages that a teacher can use to complement explanations, to show simulations and to familiarize the student with the computer. This could be also supplemented with an emphasis in learning the basics of software programming. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook said that learning how to program was his number one advice; and I agree.
The second and more difficult is to teach the students to love the study, to respect and to want to learn more every day. This is very difficult and I don’t really know the way to do it. I could say that perhaps the teacher should stimulate the students with creative works, to encourage the students to write essays and do research on their own. Of course, this should not be the substitution of the exam, but a complement. Of course, this requires more effort from the student and the teacher as well. I think this could be the way, but I am sure there are more aspects that I have not considered. I suppose the final goal of all education is to achieve what John Ruskin once said: «The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right things, but enjoy the right things — not merely industrious, but to love industry — not merely learned, but to love knowledge — not merely pure, but to love purity — not merely just, but to hunger and thirst after justice.»»
Jaime González: «There is a considerable gap between what is taught in the classroom and what is needed when you leave school. Many things have been mentioned in previous posts among other are the obvious lack of practical and reality oriented activities, ICT skills and a long etc. I agree to a large extent with many of the issues commented and I would like to add a few impressions of my own beyond the content taught. As important or even more are the attitudes that students pick up in school. It is very important to provide our students with an environment where they can develop a well rounded personality. We have to encourage them to think critically, to be creative, to recognize and deal with emotions, and seed in them the curiosity that has driven so many individuals throughout history to make humanity better. It is our duty to try this. I am convinced that together, students, parents, and teacher, can really upgrade our educational system from the bottom up. I urge you all to try even harder this upcoming school year. Keep up the good work!»