University Tips


#21

Thanks a lot! That’s really good advice.

I plan on joining a choir and potentially some other group as well when going into uni. I really enjoy singing, and ever since I left my school choir a couple of years ago I’ve really been missing singing in a group. There’s just no one around to sing harmonies with…
But! That will change!

I’ve got a few hobbies that I’d classify as live-giving activities, so I’m gonna make sure I have time for them.


#22

Random… but if your school sets you up with a school email that is based around Office 365, see if you have access to the Microsoft Planner app? I have it via my work (only available for work/school licenses…) and I am thinking it is going to help.


#23

The models most colleges use now are antiquated and flawed . Yes it is a struggle for people with adhd but it is only exacerbated by the fact that why science and society has improved our schools have not. It’s really not u it’s the school system fault for not diversifying it’s teaching methods. :rage:


#24

I second so much of the advice here! I have a couple other suggestions, some of which I figured out in college, and some of which I only learned once I started teaching university students:

Study actively, not passively. For me, this meant that instead of passively reading, I took notes by hand while I read. When I had to study for a test, I looked back at my notes, not the book. By the way, there are several studies now showing that taking notes by hand is more effective than typing-- for one thing, handwriting helps you retain the information better. More importantly, I think, is just in the fact that handwriting is slower, so it forces you to summarize. They’ve found that students taking notes on their computers often just copy verbatim what the lecturer/text is saying, and as a result they aren’t actually taking in the information. Putting it into your own words forces you to pay attention to the concepts being presented, which leads to much better understanding of the material.

If you are struggling, talk to your instructors! Sh*t happens, and your instructors know that. Sometimes you have to deal with illness or tough family issues. Sometimes you’re just overwhelmed academically. Reaching out is much better than going silent; there is a big difference between a student that’s doing poorly because they don’t care, and a student who is trying but struggling. Remember that at university, the only person who cares about your grades is you-- your instructor is not going to be angry or disappointed if you do poorly in their class. At the same time, I don’t like giving people bad grades-- it’s more work for me, and it makes me feel bad. Even if the instructor can’t help you directly, they can likely point you to someone who can.

Treat it all as an experiment! Be flexible about your strategies, and don’t beat yourself up! Tools that work great for other people might not work for you. Or, a strategy may work for a while, and then doesn’t anymore. That’s all okay! Don’t cling to tools that aren’t helping you just because you think you “should” be using them. Always keep in mind that you’re the one assessing the tool, not the other way around.


#25

Absolutely. The most prestigious universities are generally all basing their traditional approach on models that have barely evolved in at least 100 years (if not far longer).

But they have also been picking and choosing what they want to change, and what they want to ignore.

For example, the traditional role of a university was to promote transmission of knowledge amongst the academics of the world, in order to progress humanity.

While the facades of the big name universities are supported by ancient greek columns and impressively old marble and granite, the insides have become primarily money making machines with bare regard for the actual education provided, other than the ability for that education to keep vast sums of money coming in.

As an example, Australia’s education industry is the third largest export industry , generating well over AU$20 billion a year. Mostly from foreign students (foreigners, who the government is generally hell-bent on keeping out of the country, but when they bring money with them they are apparently no longer a threat).

Don’t get me wrong, I like foreigners. Whenever I travel, I am one myself.

To give you a comparison, the entire industry of Hollywood generates around US$30-40 billion. Australia has roughly 10% of the population of the US, so on a per capita basis, education is bringing in five times as much money as Hollywood.

When money becomes the main driving force for progress, there will always be plenty of cut corners.

I’d say that science has improved logarithmically, but society is still so far behind. We’re still trying to come to terms with the industrial revolution socially.

In the 1990s or so, I read a quote that 90% of all the scientists throughout the entire history of science, were alive and working that day.

So all the great advancements of science through the ages were created by an incredibly small number of people compared to the number of scientists working at that point in time, around 20 years ago.

So in theory, we should have 9 times as many scientific breakthroughs on the scale of the theory of relativity, the discovery of gravity, the complete classification and taxonomy of almost every living species on the planet, the discovery of the planets and solar system, and galaxy the Van Allen belt, electricity, the telephone, tthe computer, the internet, plastics, internal combustion, marine navigation, timekeeping (from sun dial to atomic clock), gunpowder, rocketry, aviation, nuclear weapons, biological warfare, chemical warfare, etc. etc. etc. etc.

So the current generation of scientists will, are, and have discovered some mind boggling things which we won’t even know the repercussions of for many generations.

How can society hope to come even close to adapting to these oncoming changes? We’re still playing catch up from the past few millenia.

Anyway, thread hijack finished…


#26

Smoj You can hijack my theard any time. I thought what u had to say was though full and well informed so great! So since ur so smart I have a question? Why haven’t schools improved there abilities to teach students in all these years? I am in the USA and we have a truly awful budget for education so I often think that’s why. But my intuition tells me otherwise. I think it has to do with politics. I don’t know I need to do more research I doubt there is a simple answer.


#27

We try to make cookie cutter curriculums that any teacher can teach, and that can address the needs of everyone. By its very nature this is impossible. By trying to teach the same way to everyone, we create an unintended disparity and fail to teach anyone well. I’m not sure if I’m explaining it right.

My son goes to a preschool that uses the Reggio Emilia method of teaching, which is also similar to Montessori. It evaluates each child for how they learn best, whether it’s visual, or aural, or musical, or kinesthetic (through movement), etc. My son tends toward kinesthetic, so doing things with his hands and body helps him learn better, but not aural, so just hearing facts doesn’t help him retain them. It also uses a “project” based method, which means the teacher(s) observe what topics the kids seem especially interested in, and then they make a project of it, and they incorporate the stuff they need to learn into that topic.

Last year his class studied air and flying, which led to studying rockets and space. They would teach counting using a space themed activity. They would teach letters the same way. They build play spaces out of cardboard to teach about the parts of a plane or a rocket or the solar system.

This year the project is energy, so they’re learning about where energy comes from, types of fuel, how energy is conducted, etc. They do experiments. But the other stuff, math, letters, numbers, and all that other stuff you want kids to learn is also being incorporated into the project.

This keeps the kids engaged in the learning, because they’re learning about stuff they’re interested in. The teachers are partners in the learning, because they’re learning about this stuff, too, with the students.

And on top of that, the teachers document each child’s progress in various areas, using pictures and certain criteria, and they collect that into a book that they can refer back to if they need to remind themselves of what the child has done.

It all seems like a lot of work when I think about it, but then I realized, no teacher does this alone. The entire teaching staff works as a team in collaboration. They have meetings to discuss and plan and brainstorm together. No teacher has sole responsibility for her classroom lesson plans. One teacher may be primarily stationed in the preschool room, but she also is in charge of the art program, so other teachers consult with her and they can brainstorm together for ideas to use in the classroom.

I know this seems like a huge wordwall. I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot. I think assigning a teacher to a classroom and then just saying, ok, do your thing, is very isolating, and it limits the resources to just that teacher’s lesson plan. I love this teaching method because it’s kind of like teaching by village. A group of adults working together to teach each child. I think it would take some retraining of our public school teachers, but I think this is a much better method for teaching than the current system.


#28

Giving a heart, just for this line. :smiley:


#29

Thanks for the kind words, but I wouldn’t say I’m smart… Pretty bloody dumb 90% of the time… And just because I have an opinion doesn’t mean I know what I’m talking about. :wink:

I was pretty harsh on universities before… Many of them have been very progressive and adaptable. But so many things have changed and nothing much in society is able to keep up.

Schools have improved, there have been leaps ahead in understanding how people learn. Some of that trickles into the education system and is picked up on.

I think in most countries, not just the USA, education (like health and any other public service) is seen as an expense rather than an asset. Nobody likes spending money.


#30

I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time out of their day to share their advice. This has all been really helpful for me.

Yesterday I got an email saying I got into the course I wanted, so I’ve accepted the offer and am very much looking forward to starting at uni next year. :smiley:


#31

Top work! Congratulations.You’ll have a great time, learn whatever you can.

Which course did you get?


#32

They all sound like pretty good approaches to teaching. The “lowest common denominator” approach (the squeaky wheel gets the oil) doesn’t work so well.

I like the idea of the teachers all pooling to address the individual needs of each student. Flexibility can work so much better.

I went to a fairly progressive school in Canberra briefly. Sort of an experimental school. We’d be handed a manila envelope at the start of the week with all of our work to be completed by the end of the week, and we were left to finish it on our own.

Of course I’d go off on 40 tangents, and then rush around to get it in at the last minute. But it sort of worked.

It was the only school where I ever studied anything like household budgeting. We had some pretty unusual study topics, (I was about 9 or 10). I remember we studied the Inuit Eskimos quite extensively. I still remember quite a bit. In a pinch, I’m sure I could hunt a seal using only a feather and a spear.

That was the same school where my teacher actually noticed that I have poor hand/eye coordination. He even tried to help! I would go in before class, and he’d sit me down with a typewriter. I learned how to type, and even started to enjoy writing.

To this day, I bang each key on a computer keyboard like it’s a typewriter (much more pressure needed to hit each key).

I’m sure that if I’d stayed at that school, they would have eventually pegged me as ADHD. I might have found treatment earlier… They took an active interest in their students, and were adaptable and flexible.