Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Independently-driven and Mentorship-based Education...
I have been neglecting this blog again. It just happens I am now going to two different campuses in two different towns (same university) and my workload has been a little high.
This year has been interesting because although there's a lot of work, it's work that is very unstructured. I am in charge of most of my own planning and work-management because the number of hours I put in is less...monitored.
While my professors recommend and/or require I work a certain number of hours, I don't actually have someone breathing down my neck. I was however, warned, that if I decide to slack off, I would pay for it later because I won't have work to hand in and I will be pulling all-month'ers at the end of the year.
Pretty cool, although very new territory.
My work in the lab at the other campus has been interesting. It requires a one-half hour commute and it really cracks the whip because I need to be up at 5.30 am for my bus at 7 am (I take the 5.20 pm bus home), but I've been enjoying it.
Learning a lot more about children and behavioural observation, which is very interesting! I didn't realise how much the time I spend with children in general will help me in this course because it certainly makes me notice things about children that I am sure I would have missed otherwise. I'm pretty excited because we're going into schools in the region for language-based testing soon!
Basically, this year is pretty different from my previous years. I am conducting my own research for my thesis, am part of my professors' research for other stuff, and am doing a lot more hands-on work. A few people have voiced their surprise about how come I'm writing a thesis when I'm not doing a masters, but yes, the system here is a little different. Having said that, not everyone chooses to write a thesis and most graduate without. And my volunteer work has certainly helped shaped my school work and vice versa.
I guess you can say education, at this point, is quite independently-driven. However, as the thesis coordinator has said, it is also the highest level of mentorship the department offers on an undergraduate level. Because at no point of your undergraduate degree do you get to work one-on-one with a faculty member, create your own project, and see your own results!
I'm liking this year!