How Does Education Make Change?-TEDxWorkshop

  • 05/22/2015
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  • Headline News
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  • News source: Secretariat
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  • Reporter: Bo-Quan Su
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  • Translator: Tzu-Yu Hua
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  • Photos: TEDxDongWuU

The interview of College admissions has just come to an end. The issue of "Whether Admission Selection of College is especially blessing for those who have abundant resources” is now hotly debated. In recent years, people have argued about the issues of 12-year compulsory education and Multiple College Entrance. To answer these questions, TEDxDongWuU, a group of Soochow University, tried to offer the perspective from students by bringing the schoolmates into discussion. "What does exactly education bring us?” and "Whether education restricts us?”

To make the voice in our campus heard, TEDxDongWuU was officially set up in 2014 and led by two of our alumni, Huang, Yu-Fen and Ye, Xiao-Lin, who graduated from the Department of International Business. After the first year’s hardships and efforts, TEDxDongWuU held a new seminar on May 13, 2015 to discuss about "What is Education?” By group discussion, participants were involved in brainstorming to come up with new ideas. They also exchanged their opinions with one another.

To open the seminar, story about Malala Yousafzai was shared. Malala Yousafzai is a well-known Pakistani activist for girls' education. She was born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, Pakistan. Although she is only in her teens, she has become an advocate for girls' education. This, however, results in the Taliban death threat against her. On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot when she was on her way home from school. Fortunately, she survived, and has continued to speak out on the importance of education. In 2014, she won the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.

By showing two videos — one is about Malala’s father discussing over women’s education in Afghanistan, and the other a commentary made by Sir Ken Robinson, a British educator —TEDxDongWuU led students to reflect upon the following questions: "What on earth do we learn from education?” and " How can we escape from the frame of education and learn by ourselves actively.”

Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, mentioned that women’s rights are not valued in Afghanistan. As an educator, he tried hard to challenge the tradition and taught Malala and his students not to think obedience as a virtue. Besides, he sent Malala to school when she was only four and a half years old. People always asked him, What made Malala so courageous? He said, "Don't ask me what I did. Ask me what I did not do. I did not clip her wings, and that's all.”

Sir Ken Robinson considered that teachers play a very important role in education because they can motivate their students. However, the score of exam has been too highly emphasized in nowadays school education, a phenomenon which gradually undermine real education culture. Robins asserts, exams should be viewed as a tool to evaluate the outcome of learning and to serve as teaching aids, but they are now becoming an obstacle to education.

By debating with each other, participants redefined "education” each in his or her own way. After all, what did education bring us? What is the nature of learning? We should think more deeply about these issues and try not to be confined by the limitations of real life in our way to knowledge. More importantly, we should be brave to make our own voice heard and never surrender to the obstacles of reality.