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Academia Today:An Evaluation and Comparison Across Time, Two Continents & Four Education Systems

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Written by: Iris LU
Photo by:Robert Zheng
Edited by: |  Date:2015/04/3044 Hits

        On April 23rd ,2015, an inspiring lecture on four different educational systems in the UK, Germany, HK and the Chinese Mainland was presented at GDUFS and was held by Martin Weisser, an experienced teacher who has taught in the UK, Germany, HK and here on the Chinese Mainland for several years and who has a great understanding of the four different educational systems. The lecture aroused much interest both students and teachers so that the lecture hall was full of people.

 

During his two-hour lecture, Dr. Weisser principally spoke about nine key aspects of the four education systems-- teaching units and types; teaching fashions and assessment; educational philosophy; degree types and (academic) functions; academic responsibilities; research environments and evaluating academics then moved on to present a brief summary and conclusion – all focused on academia today.  Via this illustrative and clear comparison, it is not hard to find that every educational system has both advantages and disadvantages. For us on the Chinese Mainland, the obvious merits are appropriate teaching units (each is about 45 minutes) and better student motivation, while the disappointing facets are a strong exam-orientation and little critical thinking. In Dr. Weisser’s opinion, to improve the Chinese educational systems, abolishing the strong exam-centered orientation is a must.

 

Dr. Weisser

 

The scene of the lecture

 

At the end of his inspiring lecture, a number of people indicated they would like to exchange some views about the four distinct education systems with Dr. Weisser. One of them raised a very interesting question regarding how to keep a balance between examinations and critical thinking because she thought that the importance of examinations is a great motivation for students to learn systemically as well as a helpful instrument for students to check whether they have mastered the knowledge and how well. The suggestion offered by Dr. Weisser is that teachers should help students to truly understand the content of a course and apply the knowledge as if there is no such thing as an examination for some subject.

 

A student asking a question about educational systems

 

Finishing the lecture, Dr. Weisser shared an enlightening poem:

Academia is like a flower

Nourish it liberally; put it into a suitable environment and it will flourish

Stifle it through a bad environment and it will wither and die