Dr. Mahendra S. Kanthi, PH.D Economics, retired as the Professor in economics at Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan, USA. Dr. Kanthi is highly respected by his colleagues for his dedication to other activities which have strengthened educational and cultural relationships at SVSU. He is currently the Chairman of Kittur Rani Chennamma Memorial Committee, Kittur.
The reason for going to school is to acquire knowledge and apply the gained knowledge correctly to the required field. This motive has changed over time as students are not being taught for understanding but for the sake of memorising which is wrong. Teaching should not be based only on the teacher’s knowledge as the students should be allowed to think and express their view on what is being taught and not just accept it as it is.
Teaching should be an interaction between the students and the teachers, and this can be achieved when the students are being taught how to critically think, analyse and find the best solution in numerous ways. The psychology of teachers has to be moved from teaching students how to memorise to the impact of knowledge and the understanding of such knowledge in the students. Some of the ways it can be achieved are:
1. Involvement of students in more practical works: It is widely known and often said that practice makes the man perfect. Knowledge can be impacted theoretically but what is knowledge if not given the opportunity to apply what was learned in the class. If not backed up with practical understanding in the areas needed, what was learned can quickly be forgotten. And even without this, proper understanding cannot be achieved if everything taught is just within the four walls of the classroom. Using the engineering students as an example, we would realize that teaching in this field cannot be complete without practical works, and if all that is taught is how to memorise, then we would only be producing Engineers that are below standard.
2. Use technology: Since we are in the days of technology, teachers need to use this to the advantage of the student. Technology is here and has come to stay. Therefore, teachers need to use this technology to teach the students in the classroom and beyond. With this, the knowledge of the students will be broadened, and at the same time they will be familiar with the technological instruments useful to their field of study, and that’s like killing two birds with one stone.
3. Exams are useful as it is a way of testing the knowledge of the students but education should not be based on examination alone, and this is a mistake that most teachers make. Teachers teach students these days more on how to pass an exam rather than how to understand the course of study which should be rectified as soon as possible.
In conclusion, knowledge should be applied and not memorised, and teachers should be encouraged to make this happen.