Posted by: KG | Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A plea to our educators

In my undergrad in CEG, we were introduced to a couple of subjects called Environmental Engineering and Professional Ethics. Largely disappointing, both courses didn’t drive home the vision for which these subjects were included as compulsory (overriding our electives) Once again, it is left to individuals to put in the effort to understand why these subjects were significant and why they were there. This, I believe, is largely true of most courses in most engineering institutions in Tamilnadu. And as you might know, many of us have different priorities in life and hence we choose to concentrate on the few priorities that we like. So certain important messages addressed to the general mass get lost. One more example of a vision gone terribly wrong in implementation.

And who are these implementers? The people who designed the curriculum and made it a traditional course. Let me ask you, subjects as these have a certain soul like all others do. And professional ethics and environmental engineering are not traditional subjects. They are subjects common to all people. Thats the vision. Why would then such a course be designed to be delivered as a normal course. Why not make these like one week intensive courses, with class strengths reduced to 15-20 people so that the teacher can track what each person is doing, with special tasks and special requirements unlike the traditional textbook-read-vomit model? Why not inculcate a sound basics-sound thinking-expression-discussion model?

And to the other section of the implementers – teachers, why not share the vision of the people who wanted these to be part of the curriculum. Why not take the onus on yourselves? To request a redesign of the courses as you see fit as educators on these important issues.

This is to our educators. Please stop preaching us. Start teaching us to lead us onto a higher vision. We are, as always, listening.

PS: The person who taught me Professional ethics, was a little better than the above portrayal. Discussion was encouraged but I guess it was not inspiring enough. One felt that the person was not authoritative enough and that is understandable since people taking such courses have a specialization in some other technical area. It takes a specialist to make you see beyond the facts and to help see events in their true light. Environmental engineering – Someone extraordinary should be born to save the environment if people were taught such subjects like this.


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