Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Sycophant Circle

What has the classroom become like?

Simply put, it has become a venting machine of sorts for them to come and puke out their frustrations and inaccomplishments. They call this teaching...

The process boils up to be a personal vendetta table, where you cross each name which begs to differ. It's an opinionated hierarchy. But mind you- the opinions can arise only from one side of the room, any idea arising from a bench- however genuine it may be cannot hold grounds against the table on which the attendance sheet lies...

There's no space for discussions, arguments, there's no space for a difference of opinion. Often the teacher will go round and round a topic, criticising students for their answers till he himself produces his 'right stream of thought'. Was all the prodding merely an exercise of ego-satisfaction? An exercise in which students are tended like a flock of sheep, expected to walk on pre-decided terrains and think only on those lines which the professor thinks right? Today, education has become more or less a passive exercise- questions are not entertained, unless they are the sort of questions which the teacher can answer...

And then there's this Sycophant Circle...

It's a gathering of ambitious wannabe intellectuals who have just about started preening their down feathers and dream big to fly the same dictatorial regimes like their well-chosen idols...

Classrooms have turned into the battlegrounds of bureaucracy, the centre of attention of any educational institution is invariably a dingy canteen, the centre of affection the canteen staff, which doesn't feign hypocrisy while providing low quality food for high rates. They cheat with a sense of open dignity. That's why they win our affection.

Education?! It's cheating all the way through under the mask of pseudo intellectualism...

8 comments:

Malay Maniar said...

Hmmm seems that you have witnessed only one kind of professors. I have had my share of the inflexibles, but have seen a lot of the other kind as well. Those who respect your opinion, love nothing more than a heated debate on things deemed eternally true, and those who are ready to say "I dont know it yet, but I will answer that soon"(and then actually do!).

Also, have you noticed that us students too aren't very enthu about it now? How many of us can put forth our doubts in a clear fashion? Come to think of it, how many of us actually have real doubts?

In short, complete ur studies asap and get out and enjoy life like I wish to do!!! Without much tantrums about the system being wrong, because we are as much part of it!!!


Cheers!!!

Dhunee said...
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Dhunee Ram said...

By the way, a good ramt :D

Dhunee Ram said...

always thought there were two kinds of teachers in this world - the ones who teach and the ones who don't. That was till I heard about the third kind, namely, the ones who teach how to cheat. ;) :D

Jokes apart, Everyone has had their fair share of great and not-so-great teachers. Ranting about it is ok, till you are giving vent to your despair and disgust, or trying to create awareness, but all this is ok upto a certain point.

After all, if we feel something can be done about it, then we should do it. If you feel that the current crop of teachers / professors is not good, then step forward and show them how its done. Simple.

Remin said...

Pots come in many shapes and sizes. The steadier and firmer the potter's hands are.. better is the shape of the pot (at least creates what the potter intends to create!). Sometimes a potter can let his imagination run wild and create a random shaped pot. But in any case if he needs to make something useful, it has to be controlled and as per his plan.

A student's mind can be compared to the clay.. there is a fine line dividing discipline and creativity. One needs crubing to grow and the other needs freedom to grow. Its every teacher's duty to understand the difference and implement it, as it shapes the future society.

Blaming the system doesnt help. There may be 50 other students in Leonadardo Vinci's class or for the same in Einstein's class.. They went thru the same system but left their mark.. an achiever will achieve inspite of odds. Discipline is what differentiates man from animals. Its very essential to achieve it in life. So the earlier the better !

Human psychology does force a person to put fwd their views and make everyone accept it. However, a teacher has to take care that he doesnt destroy the creative thought flow of students in his disciplining by trying to force his / her views.

Chitra said...
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Chitra said...

Well written, Gauri. But I feel it is two-way. The students of today are equally at fault. We too are a part of this vicious circle! As I had told you very few students are really interested in learning. The focus is on scoring more marks in the exam. Well, I have been lucky to get wonderful teachers who've been very caring and helpful. I've also come across the ones you've described! They make the subject boring and dull. To some extent, I feel it is the teacher who makes a particular subject interesting and instills in a student's mind the desire to pursue it. The system of education has to be changed from one based on rote learning to that which focusses more on understanding and applying the knowledge you've grasped. One of my professors once told me, "Teaching is a profession wherein no one keeps a check on how well you perform. It depends on you, your conscience and your desire to impart knowledge."

Reni said...

I remember we did once discuss the pros n cons of classroom teaching n wether we really need it.Remin i must admit has put it aptly enoght with an example of clay.Its true that creativity n discipline dont always go parallel and very rightly it shudnt.Every education system has a medium of its own which cultivates n harnesses the minds of its masses.Just the proportion of it varies from stream to stream. For example Science definitely needs creativity but above it it needs a discipline which can harness it from going haywire.Art needs more of the former.Yes at times the other side of the bench do tend to overlook this fact n deliver a sermon which contains neither the spirit of teaching nor impart any of the essences that a teacher must do.but then how many students have made it known what they want in teaching.Most of the teachers have been cribbed for all wrong reasons.I have had the oppurtunuty to njoy lectures n interactions with both kinds n thankfully i do realise where i have to go and on whose door to knock on when neeeded.We just have to make sure that we dont turn into something that we have always wanted to change when we get to their place.
Haa.. regd the sycophant cirle, practically living in it and being one of those passive circumferential points of it i can say it exists in every damn classroom.It just gives u one more reason to strive and survive as Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest!The end products might be torn and battered after that long battle but just the thought of surviving through all of it and given a chance of getting to deliver the best exceeds all of that weariness and pressure.