Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Competition Hinders Free-Learning

I've pondering to write about this topic for a while now. What can I say? the title says it all. To yet grasp the vastness and importance of this topic, we will have to consider the spirit of life.

Learning is a basic and essential aspect of life. Learning is one of the most important things that keeps life interesting. Let's bring competition into this now. I'll make a lot of assumptions now. I believe that competition was introduced as a means of promoting better learning. Competition lies in human instinct and when you are asked to compete with fellow beings, you are supposed and you will fare well.

But these days, competition is not just means of promoting learning, it is the act of judging. You are given or not given certain privileges of life because your competition did better than you. I'll have to jump into a case study to explain my perspective better.

The college I study in introduced a "continuous" system of learning some four years ago. It includes quizzes given without any prior announcement. This directly leads to a student fearing everyday that he might have to write a quiz. The student who was supposed to come happily to college that he would learn something new that day now comes in fear that he may have to write a quiz.

Im being a bit too cynical. The college's explanation for this I presume is that the student will listen to very lecture carefully because he has to write the quiz. The fact which college takes lightly here is that the student will live in enormous amount of pressure to do well in those quizzes so much so as to hamper his basic learning process.

Learning was supposed to be fun. It was never supposed to be a burden. But we now live in a globalised competitive world where excelling is not just sufficient but necessary. Even though I subscribe to the principle of "Survival Of The Fittest", there is a point beyond which it inflicts fundamental well-being of people. This isn't the way the civilisation should progress.

I hope the younger generation which goes through this process understands the consequences and asks for a better education system for successive generations.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Perspective


I remember when I was in 11th class, my physics syllabus included a concept called as frames of reference. It came right after Newton's laws. The concept meant that if you are observing a moving object from a frame which is either at rest or moving at a same velocity, then only the laws hold true.

I was fascinated by this concept from the day I heard it. The very first time it made sense to me was when I was very young. You are writing year-end exams. Your neighbor's exam ends just a day before yours. The last day of your exam, the "same time", "same duration" means fun to your neighbor because exams are over for her. And the "same time" you feel you are walking on fire.

To understand it better, imagine an hour of your time before and after the exams.

Now coming towards my actual point, "perspective" has been a major headline in my mind for a lot of time now. During the last four months, I have opened up to a lot of people, and have gained better understanding of it.

I'm trying to say that, every person sees a situation, circumstance in his own point of view. This is one of most strange things in life. 

Just before writing this, I got some news from one of friends. I scored less marks in one of the subjects I have this semester. He was in shock to tell me that, but I was not. The same situation feels very different to two people. I'm bringing this up because we have a very good mutual understanding. So our feelings are ought to be in sync. But they were not. I've seen that, a lot of people I meet are predictable. But I'm not. This is one of the effects that you face after you go through the worst fear of your life. 

Perspective is one of the bitchin' things of life.
[The article is incomplete. Try to read in-between the lines]