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发表于 2019-5-23 23:24:34 |显示全部楼层
随意记录一些习作

题目 What is the main purpose of the university, to teach theory or to teach skills?


The past few decades have witnessed the emergence of a considerable number of profit-making or even profit-oriented institutions in the east and the west. And the debate rises naturally: what is the main purpose of the university, to teach theory or to teach skills? Some argue that marketable skills are essential for graduates to seek employment. I agree, but no one can deny the role that the theory plays both in one's competence in the job market and in the development of one's mind.

Universities shall teach theory for the sake of graduates' careers. Admitted, skills are crucial for graduates to work in some positions; there are a lot of positions, especially the top-level ones, that require a comprehensive understanding of the theory. For example, if one wishes to be a programmer, he only needs some skills like programming and debugging. But if one wishes to develop a new operating system or a new architecture of computers, a solid foundation of the theories on almost all aspects is essential. For those who study mathematics, he can do well as a broker or an actuary even if he knows little about the theory of modern algebra. But it is now considered ridiculous for a post-graduate program applicant not having learned several courses in algebra in depth. These and many other examples show that universities would be blamed if they failed to equip the students with the theories they needed for their future careers.

Besides, learning something about the theory does contribute to mastering the related skills. Students are not machines; therefore, learning skills through understanding is usually easier and faster. Conversely, learning by rote can be dull and time-consuming, and even worse, frustrating. Take my numerical analysis course as an example. It is a course for skills - students learn how to use a computer to calculate the derivative, integral, etc. I learn it with ease and pleasure since I major in mathematics and know all the underline theory. In contrast, those who know little about the analytical foundation are totally lost and have to memorize all the steps.

Last but not least, teaching the theory is a perfect way to sharpen students' minds. One can fulfill his potential in critical thinking with all the verbal or (and) quantitative reasoning and comparison between different theories. And following the process of how some theory is established, one is likely to learn about the way great minds thought and to think as these great minds. This, in my opinion, is the ultimate goal of education. Therefore, universities - where people get educated - should stick to teaching the theory as the main purpose.

To put it in a nutshell, the main purpose of the university is undoubtedly to teach theory, as it is indispensable for students' future careers and development of mind.

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发表于 2019-5-24 15:55:52 |显示全部楼层
题目:Agree? It is easier to succeed in today than in the past.

Success is highly sought after by most people today and in the past. Some complain that it is harder to succeed these days due to stiffer competition in almost all industries. Competition and pressure do exist; however, there are many other factors unique to this generation that contribute a lot to one's reaching accomplishments, such as the growth of educational resources and globalization. In view of these essential elements, I consider this generation the best one to seek success.

The popularity of the primary- and secondary-level and vocational education and the growing size of tertiary education can lay a solid foundation for those who want to excel in their careers. Today, children and youth have convenient access to these resources and they are equipped with simple literacy and numeracy skills, trained in verbal and quantitative reasoning and given various groups to learn how to communicate and cooperate. All these aspects, though basic, are crucial for success. What's more, aspirants can receive higher education at a reasonable cost to get prepared for their future professions. In China, more than 10% of teenagers enter into universities and more into vocational institutions. Several decades ago, in contrast, half of the population are illiterate. The authority conducted this reform in the belief that it would be vital to the prosperity of China and it did prove to be.  One can see the power of education for people to achieve success.

Education lays a foundation and globalization brings numerous resources and opportunities for fortunes. Conventionally, companies can only sell their products and services in the domestic market and individuals are hard to seek opportunities abroad. Thanks to globalization, companies of today grow larger and create more top-level positions and individuals have a larger stage to show their talents. In my university, there are a couple of Russian mathematicians. When Russia was in depression, they could not find employment with handsome compensation but found their chances in China. Besides, globalization gives individuals access to all kinds of resources. With more fortunes and more resources, it is, of course, easier to succeed.

Granted, fierce competition and heavy pressure could be the downside of this age; but they could also serve to build up one's tenacity and perseverance, which are indispensable to win fame and wealth. I have met many senior people who suggested me to enter the best schools and workplaces so as to become more tenacious. In their point of view, the willpower which comes from competition and setbacks is an important edge for one to achieve his goal.

To sum up, it is easier to attain success in this age. People can enjoy better education and have more resources and chances which globalization brings.

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