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Understanding instead of Remembering in Educational Field

In Indian Education system all the stress is given on remembering the information and not on how much of it is understood by the student. In real life we hardly need to remember these things. All professions can use refferences books or internet.

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Written by DeletedUser

In Indian Education system (might be in some other systems also) all of the stress is given on

mugging up the subjects instead of checking the understanding of the students. Most of the exam

systems have 80% marks for theory and 20% for the Practical. I agree that knowing the theory is

important. But most of the student actually dont learn the theory and just remember it for the

time period of exams. So understanding of the subject is very critical flaw in our eduction


If you see the S.S.C. and H.S.C. exams see the list of the toppers of the exams, how many of them

invent something new or get highly successful in their respective fields. You will see they are

average in their fields. Why this happens ? Because normally field of work dont need you to

remember things you can reffer any knowledge in the world through internet. But since student have

only remembered the knowledge for temporary exam purpose. They even sometimes dont know what they

need to reffer for a practical problem in front of them.

Take a example of Computer Programming. The current exams might ask a student to write a program

in the paper without seeing the Programming language refferece. In practical life have you ever

seen the programmer write program without refference ? Student just remember some of the common

programms which are asked years after years making small changes in the quetsion. They get good

marks in exam for memorizing program. But if these student are given some real life problem and

told to create a program for it rarely they are able to solve it.

So what I think is instead of streesing on memory, the exams should be open book. Allow students

to use fixed set of refference books. It is normally said that student wont study if there are

open book exams, but only a student who has studied earlier and understands the subject would able

to find the answers in time. But to use this type of exam the question papers would also be needed

to change. The quetsion paper would need to have question crated to asses the understanding of the

student. Same old question paper pattern wont help in this.

The subjects should be practical life oriented. The examples should be also like that. If we are

teaching the students Derivation and Integration and they dont know what is the use of it in real

life they wont have interest in it. Even if student dont say anything first thought always comes

to his mind is why I am learning this. What is the use of derivation and integration in my life ?
If we showed some examples of real life problems(e.g. Calculating area of irregular shape) then

student might have more interest in learing the derivatives and integration.

If we told student a practical problem and then tell him the theory by using which the problem is

solved it would be easy for a student to implement it in the real life. How many times we see a

electrical engineer who dont know how to change fuse wire in the home. The practical knowledge is

very essential for students.

So to summerize I have following points to say
1) Emphasize on Understadning in the Education System.
2) Open book exams to remove the mug up of the subjects.
3) More importance to the practical life oriented knowledge.


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Photo of Paul Reader

Hi Amey
This is very true.
I often have discussions with my teacher friends about this very thing,
There is value in committing some things to memory such as times tables because they may be useful in a wide range of situations but it is essential to provide an understanding of what is behind them. To use a trivial example suppose you are presented with some apples set out in 9 rows of 5 and a row of 2. It is easier to recall that 9 x 5 is 45 plus 2 is 47 than to actually count all the apples.
However I can completely agree with you that understanding is the real key to the real world and I support your call for a very necessary change in education system in your country.

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