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Re: Autodidects vs. degreed students (was: Re: [hackers-il] Re: Grades and The Real World...)

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  • Oleg Goldshmidt
    ... That was not the distinction. I meant that from the point of view of learning a subject successfully it is considered (and I think there is a lot of truth
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 10, 2001
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      Omer Zak <omerz@...> writes:

      > Can you tell us what difference do you (or do experienced teachers) see
      > between the those three kinds of students (student-for-a-grade,
      > student-for-a-pleasure and autodidect)?

      That was not the distinction. I meant that from the point of view of
      learning a subject successfully it is considered (and I think there is
      a lot of truth to it, based on my own experience) important for a
      student to study for an exam systematically and in a disciplined and
      focused manner in addition to listening to lectures and reading books
      on the subject.

      Note that obviously one can be very systematic, disciplined, and
      focused outside of a context of an exam. Especially if one tries to
      learn something directly applicable to one's work etc. However, first,
      I think it's fair to say that most people will find a formal framework
      such as an exam, where one's achievements are judged independently,
      very helpful in terms of focus and discipline. Secondly, students
      (that's the context here) rarely are in a situation where they study
      something that is immediately applicable outside of the curriculum
      itself. Thirdly, the note above about direct applicability to one's
      work often has elements of examination in it, in forms of the next
      salary review, promotion, etc - just somewhat more abstracted than the
      straightforward lectures/books/exercises/labs -> exam of a university.

      In terms of student-for-a-grade vs. student-for-a-pleasure I do think
      that normally a grade (at least a good one) is perceived - justifiably
      - as value added, because it is assumed that to prepare well for an
      exam a "normal" student applies extra time and effort to "integrate"
      (using Shlomi's term) the material of the course. Regardless of what
      one thinks of one's ability to do just that without an exam looming,
      this works for most people. It's a matter of a) formal responsibility,
      b) verification.

      Can you write excellent code without the need to satisfy a customer or
      testing with an independent QA department? I am sure you can. Does the
      thought of going out of business if the customer is not satisfied help
      produce good products? Normally, it does. Does independent testing
      help quality? Please don't argue - I won't believe you are serious,
      anyway.

      Do you have enough discipline to jog and ride your very own exercise
      bike every morning? Yes? Great. Most people who exercise do find the
      discipline involved in going to a gym - and the feedback from a
      trainer (that feedback is not so different from a grade) - helpful in
      maintaining fitness.

      Same stories, different contexts.

      --
      Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
      "If it ain't broken, it has not got enough features yet."
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