Last night whilst I laid in bed, I started thinking about how myself and most of my friends have indeed become institutionalised, most without even knowing it. My use of the word institutionalised isn’t to say that my friends and I have all become scared of leaving a certain place and find it hard to adjust elsewhere like the sympton found in quite alot of prisoners when released, although im sure we’ll all find it hard to adjust to Uni life. But what I mean is that we have become blinded by what education really should be and instead just chase grades. I’ll give you an example.
I feel that I have learnt quite alot at College over the last 2 years and feel that I have become more educated. But what also has happened is that I am being taught in a way to only care about the grades and not about what I’m learning. Teachers push you for an extra mark or two on your coursework and on exam resits, but they don’t actually try to teach you the information; you’re only taught how to pass the exam. The only reason I feel that I have actually become educated is that I’ve been aware of this lack of education and tried to understand the material and the wider subject and then apply that to the exam. But this isn’t apparent to every student and most will blindly chase grades.
My teachers, my parents and the universities I have applied to only care about that final grade. Universities start it all by asking for certain grades for you to get in. Your teachers then try to teach you to pass the exam to what they ask. And then finally your parents expect you to out perform the required grades. And for those not going to uni but are instead getting a job, employers are exactly the same. There seems to be little regard for a student that understands all the material perfectly but then lacks exam technique. Sure you can then say that they can’t express their knowledge in an exam situation, but do you really get quizzed in an exam format whenever you’re asked a question? My point is that exams are an awful way to find out if someone knows the information, especially since most exam papers will only ask a candidate about 5-10% of the overall information they have learnt. Another problem is that Universities can’t see the difference between an A student with a 99% pass and an A student that just scraped it.
So what needs to happen you say? Well, if Labour could stick to Blair’s “Education, education, education”, then there might be some change. But it appears that their ideas of education are quite different to mine. With that said however, some universities are changing their systems but let’s be honest, this will just bring about a new grade for teachers and students to aimlessly chase without really caring about learning rather than passing.