Tuesday, 19 November 2013

International (lackluster) Education Week

   Like many of you, I am an avid participant in education. I have an advanced diploma in Biotechnology and am currently working on a double major in Biology and Computer Science. I mention this to enforce my position on the importance of education. I believe that in any situation education is the best thing a person can do. This does not just include university, trade schools and college are equally as good. This week is International education week and I was excited to see what Brock would do, but thus far I have been let down. I planned to see the International Mosaic Student Clubs Fair in the Guernsey market and when I had arrived, in the last 45min of the scheduled time, I could not find any clubs. I was disappointed as this is a combination of two really important aspects of university, being a student and multiculturalism. The great part of a university education is the broadening of your views, the introduction to you of new and wonderful things. I was really hoping to see a lot of clubs and a lot of interest, but the event seemed to fall flat. This does not bode well for the student experience, though it may be due to the clubs inability to attend due to timing. I have seen what the clubs are able to put on as an even in their culture fair, and it is much more exciting and informative. 

   I did not leave the experience at this though; I decided to go to the Mahtay Cafe for the Conversation Cafe. This was a fantastic experience, the question for the evening was about passion and can you follow it or do you take a logical path for money. The guest for the evening was Christina Bosilo, a Brock staff member that has combined her passion with her work here at Brock university. She is very interested in international studies, and having students go abroad to learn in a new place, to broaden horizons. Some key points that came up throughout the evening where about how people are taught in the current education system. Specifically how it was more focused on dictating what you must now, not on how you learn. This is a critical concept, many people are labelled unintelligent or ADD and really it is more that they do not fit into the system. An interesting anecdote from the evening was that a student was declared fidgety and inattentive, but the educators saw that she had a passion for music and urged the parents to enroll her in a performance art school. That student went on to choreograph the musical cats, the longest running musical ever. This was a positive case of encouraging a passion and not just medicating student. It was very interesting to see that idea of looking deeper and working with a student to discover a passion and nurture that. This can be held as a lesson to not just push out a student. The conversation that night revolved around that central focus. I would agree that we need to look into changing how we view the system, to make it more inclusive of non-traditional learners. The experience was a very eye opening and insightful conversation on the issues with education today.