De-opinionated Education

It’s often commented that sometimes my articles lack personal input, they are perhaps a distant, out-of-body experience. It can be quite an effort to inject opinion into writing which tackles issues or history, whether this shows or not, I don’t know.

Some people will be thinking how could you not have your own thoughts on the matter? They silently wonder does the writer feel or indeed think for themselves at all?

I do feel; and I do think.

Writing however, has become separated from opinion. It is second nature to think one thing while writing the opposite or to purposefully hold back. Education asks you to devoid yourself of emotion; you write the facts, memorise the dates and quote the sources. No personal thought allowed. If it doesn’t come from a scholarly source, it’s not important.

Examiners force students to abandon thinking in favour of memorisation. It may not be rote learning but the effect is the same.

Surely this stunts development? Its no wonder young people enter the workplace with little or no initiative. Its been taught that if it wasn’t written down and published it’s not right. Thinking for yourself is a talent schools suppress by repeatedly dictating that what the individual student considers important is irrelevant.

Opinion and creativity are vital, discussions and debates allow information and understanding to be carried beyond exams. Memorisation is not help in the real world if it is cast aside once pens are set aside and the holidays begin. Like anything children’s thoughts, understanding and opinions need to mature if they are to flourish as individuals, this is only achieved through encouragement, intelligent conversation and recognition.

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9 thoughts on “De-opinionated Education

  1. My teachers often asked me where I got the stuff I usedto write from…When I said “my head” it was never good enough; it all had to be referenced and justified in some way….It wasn’t always that I was the first to come up with an idea, but I used my own words…

  2. Yes indeed…the prof will not examine or like your opinions, the prof will instead try to often push his/her own opinions on you. However, opinions are important and lead to thoughts and discussion.

    Just because a prof or scientist publishes a work DOES NOT mean it is true.

    In fact. several scientists and well known scholars have published articles that can be argued from each and every angle.

    For example: The shape of the moon is still argued to present day.

    Opinions are vital to thought processes and new discoveries, and yes yours are important and valued.

    • To be fair, most of the time it’s not the teachers’ fault, it’s the exam boards and the powers higher up the food chain. I had some really good teachers and debates would always spring up in the classroom but we had to stop discussion quite a lot as it wasn’t in the exam criteria.
      As for opinion, it’s very often due to the time and culture, once-upon-a-time it was believed the Earth was flat and that if you went too far you’d just fall off the edge 😀
      I think the problem is old-fashioned, stuffed shirts writing exams and the curriculum.

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