Saturday, September 20, 2014

How much of your High School knowledge can you still retain on entering University - new report

When you were in high school what was more important to you: passing your exams so you can qualify for University education, or understanding in-depth the subjects being taught so you can use them later in life?

To be honest, the latter was more important to me, but on the day of my matriculation at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to study Zoology, I decided University teaching and learning was a whole new ball game. I had to change my orientation in learning from cramming facts to understanding reasons.

I believe I’m not the only guilty party. A recent report from the University of East Anglia’s leading researchers in education and sciences reveals that many university freshers struggle to remember basic concepts from their A-levels.

Is the problem at the doorstep of teachers at the high school levels or the fact that they students have to adjust to a different approach to learning at the university level, or on the motivation of the students themselves, the report doesn’t tell. Yet, the report involved students from the leading UK universities committed to research and outstanding teaching and learning experience, or the Russell Group. These highly motivated students could only remember forty (40%) percent of what they learned at the A-levels.

That calls for concern for all parties involved. Maybe A-level curricula has to be redesigned to reflect our age of iPhones and smart phones, where a considerable number of high school students even use these devices in class, or at the undergraduate level.

Wherever the solution lies, it is instructive to know that the longer it takes you to enter the university after you’re A-levels, the lesser of your A-level knowledge that will be retained. It calls for sober reflections, right?

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