Saturday, January 04, 2014

Why excellent students at school fail in real world?

During my school, I learned to answer one question “what is the right answer?” I learned to memorize the book so I can answer this question. I was so happy when I answer it and see the teacher says “Excellent Hassan!”

Then, when I graduated from High school and went into the university, I followed the same path. I memorize things, answer the question and become happy as an excellent student.

Then, I joined the real world. I followed the same path looking for the right answer. But this didn’t work. I couldn’t argue with people because they think differently. I see one side and couldn’t understand why the other side is not seeing my clear and obvious answer.

After years of real life experience, I learned that I spent 12 years at school answering the wrong question. I didn’t know why this is the right answer. I didn’t learn to critique and challenge this assumingly right answer. I didn’t learn that the world has different answers to one problem. I learned at school that every problem has one answer only!!

I believe our education system in Saudi Arabia can be fixed if we start by changing that question. We should have a question that makes our students THINK not memorize. Memorizing cannot solve the world’s problems. The world needs people who THINK to solve its complex problems.

During my master studies at Cornell university, I learned to answer different question “ what is the flip side of the coin?” it is basically letting us as students sees the other side of every answer and challenge it to think clearly and have a better solution. Maybe that question is the start to improve our education system.