Teaching Entrepreneurship In University – Teaching Conformists How To Be Non Conformists?

“…we do not spoonfeed our students.”, said a professor from Singapore Management University.

I had an interview there recently. I was with four other prospective interviewees who were like me, trying to secure a place in a relatively new establishments in Singapore.

“The Singapore education system is a conveyor belt.”, remarks a Polytechnic student in Singapore.

I was sighing as I was pondering over her quotes.

From a young age, I have been told that I must make it to university and be a lawyer or doctor. For years, I have been told to get good grades and degrees. For years, I have been taught to be a cog in this ‘machine’ called school.

I remembered Robert.T.Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad,Poor Dad) criticizing education systems in schools.

I was chucking as I was listening to the professor’s speech. In an education system, everyone goes through a fixed set of syllabus. Everyone is taught the same rules and protocols. In that case, how can it breed initiative and entrepreneurship if all is taught to conform?

Some of you may argue that every university has its own style of teaching and incorporating entrepreneurship, I beg to differ. By choosing the typical (and safe) route to university, everyone is now a conformist. Learning comes through experience, it doesn’t comes through rote learning. A better oiled cog is still a cog. It is still part of the system.

Am I part of a cog in this dreadful education system which Robert.T.Kiyosaki described?

In that case, you may be asking why I am still going into University. The reason is simple. I plan to equip myself with the essential skills necessary to be an entrepreneur. Thereafter, I will remove myself from the ‘system’ and embark on my entrepreneurial dream.

I guess I am the intelligent cog which studies how the machine works and learns how to jam and defeat it.

Teaching Statistics Is a Double-Edged Sword in Mathematics

They say knowledge is power, but power ought to come with responsibility also. For instance, if you teach someone how to build something, engineer it, and create it, you’d hope they do so for the right reasons. Just as Mr. Miagi from the “Karate Kid” movie refused to take on an apprentice unless they promised on their honor the use of those skills for protection and good, not starting a fight – we must be careful not to teach the wrong things to those not grown up enough to handle it yet. Okay so, let’s talk about mathematics in our schools and the educational value of statistics for a moment, shall we?

One thing that bothers me about the subject of statistics is how so many people in our population are led astray by the facts and figures they hear or read in the media. Perhaps it is true that old quote; “figures lie and liars figure,” and even if you don’t believe that particular quote, or buy into the concept, there is a very good book you might like to read;

“The Craft of Political Research – Sixth Edition,” by W Phillips Shively, Pearson-Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2004, 176 pages, ISBN 0-13-117440-1.

In that book it teaches folks how to carefully manipulate statistics, charts, graphs, and even questionnaire surveys to get the intended answer to help persuade political opinion in your favor. Yes, there is a book for that, there are several, this just happens to be one that I own in my personal library. Although I was appalled as I read it, I can certainly understand why people use such political manipulation, and it seems to explain much of global warming theory actually.

If more people understood the value in teaching statistical mathematics in high school and college, fewer people would be led astray by manipulated data, and therefore, they would be better informed voters, and more skeptical of the information presented. Is my contention that more mathematics of this type should be taught in our schools. Of course, it is also a double-edged sword, as once you teach people statistics, you also are inadvertently teaching them how to do the same sort of manipulation that has been used on them personally.

Perhaps we do need more mathematics in school, and statistics is full of math, and therefore apropos, but it won’t do much good unless we also teach ethics, discipline, and the difference between right and wrong, as obviously some people don’t seem to get it, or even care too. Please consider all this and think on.