Student as Sponge
Engagement, questioning, and thinking critically should be the goals for every student
By Kim Campbell
The cost of post-secondary education in Canada forces many students into debt, often necessitating over a decade in paying back student loans. Ontario continues to have the highest tuition fees in Canada with current tuition fees rising to over $7,000 a year. To make matters worse, in addition to the high tuition fees, students are often paying for an inadequate educational experience.
With large class sizes, minimal professor contact, and very little variation among teaching styles, the quality of education is at risk of becoming about nothing more than the ability to regurgitate information. Too often education takes a top down approach with the professor holding all the knowledge and power while the student’s unique forms of knowledge remain unrecognized. Furthermore, forms of evaluating students’ learning are usually limited to essays and exams at the professor’s discretion. These methods, however, do not always accurately assess learning as one assignment can have extensive influence on an overall grade.
In this sense, education is failing to represent the fact that students have a wide range of unique learning styles, as well as many experiential forms of knowledge. This is not to discredit the many amazing professors who work diligently to create a diverse and in-depth learning experience. This is rather to say that we should be concerned if students are becoming sponges for the knowledge we are presented with rather than engaging, questioning, and critically thinking about the scholarship behind our passion.