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Category Archives: Education

Bondage of Education

I will never forget the first time I failed a test. It was in fifth with one of my favorite teachers. I remember receiving the test back with a zero on the front and instantly covering the test up so no one could not see the sign of failure. The teacher must have seen my shock because I was told to stay after class. She explained to me how I had made a 100 but I did not “take the test right” which is what resulted in the zero. From then on, I developed what college students call “test anxiety.” I worked to follow directions, to be structured, and to never ask a question that could possibly be wrong. I made straight A’s, participated in school organizations, was president of my class, and lived to fill the resume that would be sent to potential colleges. I did what students are expected to do. When I came to college I was excited because I could finally learn outside the perimeters of standardized tests. What I did not expect was to hear phrases from professors such as, “don’t worry this will not be on the test,” or having to spend thirty minutes of class listening to students ask how many questions will be on the exam. Teachers from my high school always told us, “college will not be like this, so enjoy it while you can,” but it was all the same. Listen, take notes, memorize, take test, repeat.

I began to realize that maybe this was what education was intended to be. A system that engrains students with the idea that to conform and restrain one’s mind to standardization is what makes us “successful.” David Brooks discusses how college students are “goal-orientated… a means for self-improvement, resume-building, and enrichment. College is just one step on the continual stairway of advancement and they are always aware that they must get to the next step.” Students go through elementary, junior high, high school, and now even universities not to “free our minds” or truly educating ourselves, but to climb the ladder of social order. One can relate education to Plato’s cave allegory, “they are in it from childhood with their legs and necks in bonds so that they are fixed, seeing only in front of them unable because of the bond to turn their heads.” This system of education that parents, professors, politicians, employers, and even students talk so highly about is not about producing the world’s next great minds, it is about producing the world’s next source of capital. Society has taken a liberal education and twisted it to where it will fit students into its workplace.

Everyone says that your first semester of college is the hardest. You move away from home, meet new people, and are thrown into a whole new environment. I knew it would be tough, but never thought I would be the student that curled onto her dorm room rug and cried over a seventy-eight on a couple of tests. I had made back-to-back “failing grades” in my mind and had the mindset that I could never recover. What could I accomplish without a 4.0 GPA and four years on the Deans List? To make matters worse, I received a zero for a homework assignment. Believing that there must have been something wrong, I made my way to my TAs office hours where he proceeded to tell me that I did great on the assignment but had to give me a zero based on a small technicality. That is when I had the realization that a modern-day college education has nothing to do with a liberal education. From then on, every test I would take and grade that followed would no longer determine how I would go about learning. I decided that in order to receive a true liberal education I had to throw away every concept of what I thought education was. In Plato’s book I was reminded that “education is not what the professions of certain men assert it to be” and when I decided to make my way out of ‘the cave’ of education I was thankful for the realization that I had broken the bonds that society tried so hard to place tightly around me. Leo Strauss said that a “liberal education supplies us with experience in things beautiful,” and that is when an individual is truly free.

I sometimes think about where I would be if I had the mindset that I do now about education when I received that zero if fifth grade. Would I have waved it in the air as a badge of pride representing how I refused to conform to the institution instead of hiding it from my friends in shame or would I had done it all the same? A true liberal education is what enables individuals to achieve, admire, and model greatness. So, when I hear a professor repeat the phrase “don’t worry, this won’t be on the test,” a part of me wonders if even they have given up on helping break the bonds placed upon us.

Blended Learning

  • It augments the benefits of training: It is well known that learning is enhanced when the same concept is presented in different ways. This is the principle behind ‘Blended Learning’. After presenting the concepts in an instructor led face to face training session, the knowledge retention is significantly improved with the addition of a new method in the learning process, through elearning or gamification. It delivers a much richer training experience and helps employees to retain the new information better by applying on different platforms like elearning and gamification.

  • It reduces and simplifies logistics: Each method of training has its pros and cons. Face to face training when led by an accomplished trainer can achieve profound results; however, managing the logistics of all the participants can be a nightmare. But when the live programs are reduced and the training is supported by video conferences and elearning, then the impact is not compromised. The last two training methods reduces the need for logistics and is also eco-friendly; e-copies of the training materials can be share thereby reducing the need for printing.

  • It allows employees greater control over their training: Microlearning is shared through mobile phones and elearning is shared through Learning Management Systems. Both these methods allow employees to study the material on their own time from their phones or laptops. So long hours of travel has contributed to enhanced productivity as this time is used efficiently. Each person has a varied ability to learn. In face to face sessions, people who take longer to absorb new information have a hard time keeping abreast with the rest of the group. But when employees are given control over their learning, by being able to combine their face to face training sessions with online self study, unique learning needs and behaviors are met; this contributes dramatically to enhanced productivity and career growth.

Info of Engineering Career Options

  • Computer Science & Engineering
    Computers have been proved a true salvation for human greed of knowledge and development in last 3 decades. So, this is not hard to understand, why Computer Science and Engineering branch is one of the most popular and important branch of engineering since last many years. Today, when computers have already secured, their presence in primary school curriculum and is an essential part of kid’s collection at home as their favorite pass time tool, they are undoubtedly have become an invincible part of human life. Computer Science Engineering involves study, research and development related to architecture, management and deployment of Information Systems and Applications, which intend to manage or utilize both software and hardware systems. Being a Computer Science Engineer, one can opt for an impressive career in System Development, Telecommunication Industry, Database Administration, Application Development, Hardware Research and Development, Multimedia Applications Development and many more directions.

  • Electronics & Communications Engineering
    Communication has been a key factor in the process of development of the mankind. Electronics have been an important part of human life in last 100 years. Invention of Radio, Telephone and Television initiated this revolution, and later on with the reduced cost of technology, their next generation devices have changed the lifestyle totally. Nowadays, smart phones, smart watches, smart cameras, smart glasses and many more innovative gadgets have changed one’s life overall. Electronics and Communications Engineering provides an opportunity to study and research in a field of information broadcasting and transmission over various medium such as cables, radio signals, fiber optics etc. An Electronics and Communication Engineer may opt to work in various segments like designing electronics equipment, R&D related to new age smart gadgets, integrated circuits and software interface etc.

  • Mechanical Engineering
    We can say that the traces of existence of Mechanical Engineering can be easily underlined from 3500 BC that is the time of invention of wheel. Invention of wheel is considered as the most important invention of this world. Mechanical Engineering contributes to the most of the machines; we are surrounded with from a nail cutter to stone crusher, from a tea pot holder to a huge earth mover, from a zip in a dress to the biggest dam in the world, Mechanical Engineers have made our life very easy and productive over the years. Mechanical Engineers work around manufacturing and designing of machines, assembling and maintenance of power plants, engines and huge machines etc. Automobile industry is one of the biggest stack holders in Mechanical Engineering Industry. Mechanical Engineering stream is mainly focused on research and development of machine designs and implementations. It is an integral part of aerospace industry, automobile industry, heavy machine manufacturing industry and civil engineering.

  • Civil Engineering
    The man is a social creature and loves to build society and live as a part of societies. These social establishments include colonies and markets, comprising of buildings and other constructions. So, with the inception of civilization, civil engineering has been an instrumental part of human lifestyle and habitat. Civil Engineering revolves around conceiving, planning and implementation of design, structure and architecture of physical constructions and natural establishments. By becoming a Civil Engineer, one can seek a career in Building Construction, Real Estate Development, Construction Engineering, Urban Planning, Bridges and Dams Design and Construction, Environmental and Land Use Technician etc.

Benefits of Home Tuition

1. Get tuition at your convenience

The great advantage of home tutoring is the convenience for the student. Education comes at your door, no need to spend valuable time going to coaching centres.

With home tutoring, students can learn at their own comfort. It gives you the flexibility to decide your preferred days and time for getting tuition. Students can also discuss with their tutor regarding the tuition place, time and days.

2. Opportunities for pre-learning

Home or private tuition gives students the opportunity for learning a subject or concept before it is discussed in school. In this process, the school or classroom can aid students revising their subjects, and infuse confidence in them.

With this model of home tutoring, learning any subject becomes quite easy. Students can quickly gain command over their subject which will also increase their efficiency. The main advantage of this method is that it creates a better image of the student within his circle and among the teachers because he is already updated with all their homework.

3. Detailed productive feedback

An answer to any specific question has many aspects and demands proper guidance to write the correct answer. In school or any conventional coaching centre, a teacher may miss out important subtleties. Due to time limit, a school teacher may be unable to correct all the faulty areas of each student.

Home tuition helps the student in analysing or correcting answers at every step. The tutor gives a detailed productive feedback to students, which also motivates them to improve and do better next time.

4. Get personalised attention

It’s quite impossible for teachers to attend to every student, which results in your child not understanding a lesson acutely. Home tuition comes with an assurance that the tutor’s prime focus will be entirely on your child and his difficulties.

The other benefit of one-to-one tuition is that it is less restrictive compared to any conventional coaching centre or school.

5. Scope for improvement in student’s performance

If a student is weak in any particular subject, then he needs special attention from the teacher to improve performance. This is not often, if at all, possible in school. With home tuition, a student can get distinctive attention from the tutor and devote more time to that subject.

A home tutor is not just for giving tuition on subjects, though. He can also be a mentor to the student, guiding in developing time management and better study skills. This improves student’s overall performance.

Preparing Child For The Boarding Environment

• Check if the present school provides a flexi-board facility in which you can let him board at school for a few weekends so that he can eventually get used to the idea. The stay can be used for extra classes, sports training prior to an important match or some co-curricular activities.

• Never miss out on the open days for new parents. These are usually held during the last two weeks of the last term, prior to new admissions. It is usually a great opportunity for your child to mix up with inmates and staff. It would be much easier for him to adjust when he’s already aware of what to expect at his new home. Moreover, you can also get to know other parents who would be going through the same phase of preparations and mutual sharing of experiences and suggestions always tend to happen when all are on the same ship.

• Find out if anyone from your circle or your child’s school would be joining the same school in the same term or is already a student there. Call them home more often and encourage your child to make friends with them. Even if they are not of the same batch or house, it is nice to look forward to a familiar face to bump into, and usually when you already have friends as a fresher, it is considered to be cool. So, this is sure to give your child a head start.

• Give your child his share of freedom while he’s still at home, and let it not come as an unpleasant shock as he enters the boarding environment. Start allowing him to board a bus alone to the local city square, let him make up his own bed and start giving him petty household chores. Besides this, allow him a few night outs at his friend’s place; this will bring out the fun aspect of boarding to him.

Daily Practices of Unstressed Unschoolers

  • Get your game on. Not only will you get increased family connections by making a daily commitment to play a game, you will have the opportunity to teach and model so many other concepts in real time: math, reading, logic, problem solving, and of course the ability to lose graciously. Engagement is the key to authentic and powerful learning and connections = engagement. Setting aside a small block of time to play a game with your kids, giving them your full and undivided attention, is time well spent, and the payoff far exceeds the investment. Board games, card games, games that need no equipment – the opportunities for learning are limitless and easily found. Find what works best in your family, try to set this time aside in your daily routine. Maybe after dinner, before each person gets to go off and spend an hour or so in our own personal free time before bed. In the summer, take the games outdoors and use big body movements. In winter take advantage of the huge array of amazing board games available these days – there are so many more than Monopoly and Life – though both are still great games! A daily commitment to game playing will support engaging conversations and create multiple opportunities to model more refined strategic planning.

  • Create. Making a commitment to create every day can greatly enrich the unschooling experience, while also allowing each person to follow their own passions. Someone who really enjoys creating food has an opportunity to build essential safety skills, practice reading and math, and tinker with chemistry. Art lovers will find concrete ways to share their feelings and emotions, practice a multitude of gross and fine motor skills, and honor and practice intrapersonal skills. And don’t forget to take time to create for yourself as well! It’s important that children see their caregivers making time for and honoring their own creative process, which looks different for every person, but brings solace and comfort to all. Modeling is a powerful teaching and learning tool. The sky is the limit when it comes to creation. Legos, Minecraft, paper dolls from magazines. Visit a retirement home and create some joy. Break out the tools and create a birdhouse. If you can dream it, you can create it. And if you can create it, you can learn from it.

  • Be still and silent. Interestingly enough, this might be the hardest one of all. However, there are no shortage of studies to suggest adding a mindfulness/meditation practice to your day is extremely beneficial. It may be necessary to start very small, but results will show up quickly with dedication. Begin with two minutes of silence and work your way up. One easy way to get started is to take one silent car ride per day. No music, no talking, just looking out at the changing scenery and letting thoughts come and go, noticing them but not acting on them. It will be challenging at first, but a commitment to silence, even for a short while, not only creates a wonderful opportunity to hear our own inner wisdom, it also gives us a powerful tool that we can come back to in times of overwhelm and upset.

Studies Readiness

Timing in handling this transitional topic is a challenge to all the scholars. They do not always have insights and necessary information to base their consideration on. Access to information is costly for some, and in most cases their school vocational guidance officers are not exposed to the latest trends. As a result they wake up very late and end up taking studies and career directions that are not well researched.

The schools and parents are encouraged to invest in mentorship program to support the scholars in their studies and career choices. However, such programs alone are not sufficient. The schools must work together with the various mentors in conceptualizing and designing educational tours to the institutions of higher learning (universities and colleges), attending studies and career fairs, exhibitions, etc.

The interaction between the schools and the industry should be effected in early years of the scholars development. The schools must employ career counselors, guidance teachers, and industry liaison officers. Companies must be encouraged to adopt schools under their Corporate Social Responsibility programs and see the scholars through to the universities. Such scholars could become scholarship recipients of these companies. Ultimately they would graduate to become their employees. However, the idea here is not for the companies to support schools for their own benefit. This is done for the benefit of the society with the hope that the economy will benefit from an educated people.

We cannot ignore the commercialization of the student information activities, like privately organised career fairs and exhibitions. They occupy the space left by the schools and education authorities. As a result such initiatives are perceived to be for the children of the middle class and the wealthy parents. There is a need for collaboration between private and public organizers. The main objective must be to assist the scholars in their studies and career readiness irrespective of their status in the society.

As the 4th industrial revolution becomes a reality, we need to be mindful of the role that technology is already playing in delivering education and the new careers emerging in the industry. The scholars must be preoccupied with the kind of careers that are going to be in existence by the time they graduate from the college/university.

It is a matter of concern to have the school career guidance offices that are poorly equipped with technology. We need digital libraries that are interactive and a place of global connectivity for the learners. They must be more than libraries but be digital information centres. The parents cannot be disengaged from their children’s studies and career ambitions. They must be observant of their children’s potential and harness it. The schools cannot be left with the responsibility of guiding these children alone. Their holistic development is a partnership.

Child to Be Smarter at Math

Before I tell you how to make this work, however, before I tell you the one step method for making your child’s math grades shoot up to an A, let me tell you the secret: you have to get your child to appreciate math as a game.

Hey, they can play video games like a world class champ! And they can program your smart phone like it is an abacus! And the difference is that they want to. And by getting them to play with numbers in a games fashion, they will want, and they will excel, and their grades will go up.

To begin with, I taught school for a number of years. First as a teacher, then owning my own private school. I used the method I am about to tell you with great success, and I got the kids to use this method during ‘play time.’ That’s right. Instead of them going out and actually playing, I got them to do math and ‘think’ (he he) they were playing.

Now, the biggest lack in math schooling, in my humble opinion, is the lack of basics. This is the times table, the addition table, the basics of how to manipulate numbers.

When I was in school (had to walk 20 miles, uphill both ways, through the driving snow) we had to do a page of tables every single day. Rain or shine, all the way through grade school, we did basic math.

Nowadays they don’t. They give a few pages in a book and think it is sufficient. It’s not. And for the simple reason that it doesn’t make math intuitive. It remains, even through high school, something they have to think about. Think. Long and hard and laborious. Any wonder why they don’t do well? The basics are TOTALLY out.

So, a page from the Case family larnin’ book. Cards.

Yep. Mama Case brought out a few decks of cards and we played. We learned how to play solitaire, and in group fashion. To this day I feel a profound happiness swell when I remember four of us, my brother, myself, my mother, and even granny! slapping those cards down, trying to beat one another, and laughing hysterically. Or crying foul when we was beat!

But the point is that we learned to look at numerical symbols and understand them. The speed at which we could differentiate a 4 from a 6, or a 9, or whatever, enabled us to win the game. So we wanted.

And, when the group wasn’t spending a night slapping cards down, we learned other games. Several forms of individual solitaire. Hearts, Rummy, whatever!

And here was an interesting bonus: when we played monopoly with the kids in the neighborhood, we became adept at reading the dice, at adding those cubes littered with one of six digits face side up!

Info of Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Key Points of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship

The key points of the Ontario scholarship include the following:

  • The scholarship worth $15,000 for each year.
  • The main eligibility criterion for an international student intends to study in Ontario is a permit from an authority.
  • The minimum period for running the graduate scholarship program is 2 consecutive terms.

Scholarship Application Process

Below are the requirements for eligibility to process the scholarship application:

  1. Applicants for the scholarship should have a first-class standard, (minimum of A-/80%) in each of the last 2 full-time academic years. This means the eligibility averages are based on grades up to August 31, 2017.
  2. You must provide transcripts from all your post-secondary institutions, whether you have your certificate already or not.
  3. Graduate transcripts are compulsory even if fall 2017 is the first term of your program.
  4. The same scholarship appliance form is also useful in evaluating a nominee for Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology. The QEII-GSST is also worth $15,000 per year.
  5. You as a student have the alternative to taking up the OGS or QEII-GSST sponsorship for a minimum of 2 terms value at $10,000 or 3 terms worth of $15,000. The scholarships are non-renewable.

Evaluation Criteria

These three items are evaluation or eligibility requirements for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship:

  • An academic distinction with a weight of 30% to 50% as established by academic transcripts, scholarships, awards and honors lists.
  • Communication and leadership skill with a weight of 0% to 20% as demonstrated by a list of relevant volunteer, leadership, and academic work experience.
  • Research capability and potential in program study with a weight of 30% to 50% as confirmed by conferences, originality, presentations as well as publications.

Maximum Support

International master’s students receive an OGS or QEII-GSST award for a minimum of 2 academic years while doctoral students for a minimum of 4 academic years.

Additionally, OGS students cannot go beyond a period of 6 years of graduate awards which government funds.

  1. Tri-Agency Scholarships (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, Vanier)
  2. Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program.
  3. Ontario Trillium Scholarships (OTS)
  4. Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST)

Reporting on Biographies

James A. Bryan grew up in rural South Carolina and moved to North Carolina at the age of fourteen for more education. Then, God made it possible for Bryan to attend and graduate from Princeton University. In 1889 he arrived in the young city of Birmingham to pastor the Third Presbyterian Church. Indeed, he became a pastor to the city of Birmingham itself.

To see how this happened, follow a day in the life of Brother Bryan of Birmingham (Chapter 5 His Daily Round):

5:30 a.m. – a younger preacher filling in for Brother Bryan’s regular driver arrived at Bryan’s home.

6:00 a.m. – they arrived for Pastor Bryan to preach to workers at a transfer company.

6:30 a.m. – Breakfast at a Greek Restaurant provided free for Brother Bryan and anyone who accompanied him. Before leaving Brother Bryan prayed for the staff at the restaurant.

7:00 a.m.-Fire Station # 4 – Brief preaching session to the firefighters.

7:45 a.m. – WKBC – Radio Station Morning Devotions – Brother Bryan sang a few lines of “Take Time to Be Holy,” prayed and spoke from Isaiah and then closed in prayer.

8:15 a.m. — Pick up donations of fruit, bread and broth for those who would listen to a message at the church later that morning. Called his wife to recount his activities and to ask about things at home and if anyone had called requesting a wedding or funeral.

9:00 a.m. — Fire Station # 1 – Brief preaching session with the firefighters.

9:30 a.m. WBRC – Commercial Radio Station with greatest reach in Birmingham. 30 minutes of preaching time.

10:00 a.m. Spoke to a women’s group about his trip to Nazareth.

10:45 a.m. At the church – checked in with Mrs. Bryan; by phone learned of the sick; thanked a friend for food; encouraged a man – ending each conversation with prayer.

11:30 a.m. Spoke to the homeless who had gathered for a meal.

12:00 p.m. Drove home for the meal Mrs. Bryan had prepared for them.

2:00 p.m. Hospital visit; home visit; pick up weekly donation of a piece of meat from butcher.

3:30 p.m. Fire Station # 7 – spoke to the Firefighters

4:00 – 5:15 p.m. various sections of the Jail as “City Chaplain.”

5:30 p.m. Checked in at Church to inquire if anyone had requested funeral or marriage.

6:00 p.m. Supper at a restaurant – again anyone who accompanies Brother Bryan pays nothing.

6:50 p.m. Tarrant City Hall – spoke to firemen.

7:30 p.m. Church meeting

8:30 p.m. Bid goodnight to “chauffeur.”