Some things to think about in our traditional education system

I just finished my final exams at university which made me once again think about our traditional education system. You have to learn a lot of definitions, terms,  methods  and other theoretical stuff “by heart”. This is far away from practice! I mean why should I learn different ISO norms and know exactly what is described in one of those sections. It’s the same with most of those courses, independent of the subject. Normally you would refer to those norm, take it out of the shelf and read it if you don’t know it. Or most easier nowadays is to search for it in the deep ocean of information on the Internet. Almost everything can be found there (since many stuff is crap, you have to verify it first).

After finishing the studies a student has proven that he/she can learn different subjects really fast, but what ratio of that knowledge is long-lasting? Not much. When I think about the mathematics and physics courses at the beginning of my studies, I still can remember things, but if one asks me how to solve a complex multiple integral now, I just don’t  know how to do. But with help of some recipes or formulas and after spending some time trying, I may figure it out how. So I think that if you learnt something and then never use it again, it’s lost and cannot be re-activated. As long the time in between is not too large, you can re-activate the things learnt again (It’s still somewhere in your brain). And by using it in practice you rememer it much easier then.
You can also do very well if you stay quiet, listen to your lecturer, don’t challenge him and do everything pedantic by the book. If you do it otherwise (e.g. when you can express “your” opinion during a test), your answer may be wrong. Because it’s not according the theory you learnt.

As a result, the students with the highest marks are not always the best ones for practical work. Some are not intended for real-life application.  Life’s different.

Note: This text is not based on a scientific manner, I just wrote down my feelings and thoughts after the finals.