Thursday, April 11, 2013

Education: India and USA



I studied Mechanical Engineering for a year, in India.
I studied Computer Science for several years in the USA.
I have an inkling of how to contrast these two educational systems.
In the spirit of "release early, release often", I am publishing my current opinions, and inviting feedback.

Education in India:

        Characteristics:
                Teachers are given high respect, and treated as virtually infallible.
                Rote memorization was emphasized.
                Books and calculators were not allowed on tests.

        Advantages:
                Students learned to do quick calculations in their heads.
                Students retain more material.

        Disadvantages:
                Teachers were not questioned enough.
                The student's imagination and creativity were not emphasized enough.

        Recommendations:
                Include Art and Humanities courses to round-out the curriculum.
                Use free software.
                Expose all students to elementary computer programming.

Education in USA:

        Characteristics:
                Emphasis on inuition and understanding.
                Books and calculators were allowed in some tests.
                Critical thinking encouraged.

        Advantages:
                Students integrate more material.

        Disadvantages:
                Students can't do quick and dirty calculations in their heads.
                There is far less rigor than is needed for success.

        Recommendations:
                Use free software.