My Thrilling Educational Experience Excitement, thrill, apprehension and all those human emotions were governing me as they do to every other individual who enters an unknown environment. The smell of air had changed and it consistently reminded me of these emotions. Now, there I was in this great city all alone, having moved from Nepal to the United States trying to get a quality education. The new education system stunned me. How can things be so different? How come I don’t even have to yell “MAY I COME IN SIR” before I enter the class? I was both surprised and proud not having to do it anymore.
The new learning process was so interactive that I finally found education to be interesting. After experiencing two different cultures and educational systems, I perceived that education can be made effective through active learning because it involves ideas of both the teacher and students, enhancing the learning experience to be more promising and productive. All my schooling experiences, until the twelfth grade, engaged me in passive learning. The classroom was teacher-dominated and I feel that my potentiality and creativity has been suppressed to a large degree.
Mr. Dhoj, my 9th grade math instructor, asked me if I had done my homework and as usual I hadn’t. I can still recall the experience when Mr. Dhoj’s huge hands slammed on my pathetic 15 year old back. He was an incredibly strong man. You would not want to mess around with a guy like Mr. Dhoj. But this was not the first time that it happened and I was not the only one who went through it. It would happen every other day and wasn’t something you would really feel embarrassed about.
Like expressed by UCLA professor Mike Rose in his essay “I Just Wanna Be Average,” his teacher routinely had him grab his ankle to give him a stinging paddle across his butt (Rose 159). It probably was as normal for Mike to face situations as such, as it was for me, a couple of times and you get used to it. Mr. Dhoj wasn’t concerned or willing to figure out the reason behind me not completing my work. The fact is that I didn’t really know how to solve the complicated problems he assigned us and wasn’t at all interested or bothered to copy it from someone else.
I’d rather take another shot on my back, after all the pain is temporary. Because the classes were so passive and teacher-dominated, students feared to raise questions. I would have to hustle during the final exams and would somehow manage to peek into one of the first bencher’s answer sheet. Mr. Dhoj would figure it out later, but he didn’t really feel like slamming or failing me for that because he believed that being able to copy in the exams in itself was a skill. It sounds a little absurd but this really was his idea on the ability to cheat.
So he would let me slide with the passing grade. I climbed up on to tenth grade without the ability to do a 9th grade math problem by myself. I really wish things would have been a little different in the class. I wish the teacher could understand where we were lacking. I experienced proper interaction with my professor and my fellow students while taking classes in the U. S. We spent most of the time sharing, analyzing ideas and most of all concluding them that would answer most of the questions--that is what active learning is about.
The learning pattern is just beautifully crafted and promising. . Mr. Somer, my first instructor in the U. S, showed me the brighter side of the moon. His classes were so active and engaging that I couldn’t help falling in love with English. Me, who once hated English and could not write even a proper paragraph, am now writing an organized, well-formatted college paper. I count this as one of my greatest achievements.
Learning is now more about bringing out my potentiality on the piece of paper rather than having to focus and stick to the teacher’s ideas. When the class is raised to a discussion on a particular issue everybody is working on, ideas pop out from all around the class forcing me to think from different perspectives. There is always room for me to rectify my misconceptions. The learning experience was suddenly crafted in a way which encouraged me to compete with myself. I found my writing skills getting better and better with every class I attended.
After 15 years of ineffective education, I finally found out the reason for my failures in the past and my way in to academic success. The way you feel about education is largely dependent on the educational experiences you’ve had. As for me, I have had a chance to experience both--one of the best as well as one of the worst. The way education is delivered to the students definitely defines the effectiveness of the education system itself. As demonstrated by the famous rock band Pink Floyd in their music video “Another Brick In The Wall,” a teacher-dominated ducational system that practices passive learning destroys the students interest and creates a negative perspective towards education (Pink Floyd). I had the same impact and negative feelings toward education when school was all about listening to the teacher’s outdated ideas and getting beat up if you tried to bring out your creativity. Mr. Somer won’t beat you up if you don’t understand the material. He has it clear in his mind that students come to class to learn, and not to get beat up or to adore his fantasies.
I am not trying to blame Mr. Dhoj entirely for what he did. There was Mr. Jha, who would try and rip off your sideburns if you didn’t do your readings. And how can I forget Ms. Kappu, she had students kneel down the whole period outside of the class just because they were a couple of minutes late to school. There’s a bunch of them; they are just supporting the foregoing culture. How do you expect your students to do well if you abuse them all the time? Well, I thought it was normal until I started taking classes here.
I observed jaw-dropping reactions when I talked about it with my class mates. They’ve never been through all of that. Students here happen to be more creative, outgoing and have superior qualities and abilities. The proper delivery of education has caused positive effects and developed great educational ethics among the students. hahahagBeing around a teacher dominated educational system all my life; I had lost hope over education. Practicing education in such environment is awful.
Only if the educational system back home had been better, I would be in a whole different level than I am in right now. If the learning process is limited to attending the lecture and listening to whatever the teacher has to say, without active participation of the students, ideas and interests are suppressed which eventually diminishes the creativity, potentiality and productivity of the class. Out of fortune, I was able to continue my further education in the United States. It introduced me to a completely different culture and an excellent learning environment.
It gave me a chance to bring out my potentiality that had been suppressed for years. The learning resources are unlimited and the help and support I have been getting from my instructor and fellow students is priceless. Works Cited Pink Floyd. “Another Brick in the Wall. ” The Wall. Columbia Records, 1979. Music Video. Rose, Mike. “I Just Wanna Be Average. ” Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. Ed. Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen and Bonnie Lisle. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 157-168. Print.