Spotlight: Education Goes Alternative

By Samantha Wong, Blog Editor
@samzwong

There is a distinct difference between enjoying a class and merely going just to go. Students have this tell, this look, that shows that they have to go to class and are about to endure what will feel like an eternity (i.e., an hour or an hour and thirty minutes) of pain. Take note that this is not absolute. Not every student gets that look on his or her face; some people want to be there and enjoy it. Though, in a perfect world, students would be going to class not only because they have to but also because they want to.

Centuries ago, in Ancient Greece, students used to form small groups with one lecturer. This was where Ptolemy and Aristotle learned the hows and whys of the world. This is, to some effect, how most of the intelligentsia and the not-so intelligentsia have learned and have come to share information.

Grecian methods are more or less what is being used in this day and age with a few modifications. The modifications are tacked on with the passing of time, with the hopes that, with each modification, with each alternative method, education will improve.

Some such modifications are that the size of groups has grown considerably; the student to teacher ratio definitely increased. Especially at a school like Boston University where there are about 15,800 undergrads. Another is that, as the world evolved, growing more and more technology savvy so did schools. Boston University, as most students know, has been online for a while, employing tools like Blackboard and Blackboard Learn.

While some are resistant to change, change, admittedly, brings about its own impacts. Though, it seems that change can mean the difference between a student performing to best of his or her ability to not performing at all. Change can mean the difference of being able to teach a student and cater to him or her on an individual level.

Some may argue that a standardized method of education may be better while others argue that innovation is key to collecting information and being able to grow for the better.

Hopefully, with the coming of time, Boston University will provide complete flexibility for classes that will increase student interest and participation. That, in addition to making attendance rates soar.

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