We have a catch 22 situation in our higher education. Yes, we want to change the way testing of learning outcome, but who will correct those test papers? Most of the teaching staff of all our colleges have been taught to recite "In a large tank, the well-powdered ore is taken..." verbatim. Even those of us who deplore this form of teaching have been testing the students with the standard questions expecting the standard answers. We have to, unless we are able to take a 20% or 30% pass results in the university exams. Those of you familiar with our colleges will understand what I mean.
About the quoted words, its something I will never forget.
At school, the day we went for our final ISC exam we were given a chocolate each and told "Keep your wits sbout you" by our Principal . I enjoyed the exams (really). It was the same feeling as I get now when I get the morning paper to do the sudoku... a challenge that I enjoyed meeting and met very well , if I may boast.
Then I went to this college (full of university rankers) . Here, Inorganic Chemistry was taught by this prof who would teach exactly as if he was reciting the textbook, but never brought a single piece of paper to the class. The next day, he would ask us to tell him what was taught in the previous class. I could never remember and would try to pretend I didnt exist.
The froth flotation method was recited by him one day and the next day sure enough, the "class topper" recited it verbatim "In a large tank, the well-powdered ore is taken...." I was thunderstruck. How could she remember it ? I never forgot this sentence ...it's been 37 years!! But I dont remember anything else from what I was taught in college.
At school I was going to be this brilliant chemist, doing some unspecified but earth-shaking research in Chemistry (I loved it). At college, I hated all forms of chemistry with equal fervour. It was soooooo boring.
It took me a while to start liking it again.
That's why, when one student said "Oh wow" when I had explained something in their syllabus, it made me feel really happy.