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The Advantage of Higher Education

– You have repeatedly spoken about how important it is for a child to receive a higher education as early as the teenage years. Why is this important, and why should a teenager spend so much time on this?

– I think it is necessary. Besides, the modern school can only harm a person.

Higher education trains a person to work with books, visit libraries, participate in laboratory work, and take exams. It keeps him in motion. He has to participate in these processes, understand how to study different subjects, how to choose textbooks and study them, how to choose the necessary material and report on it, and how to carry out lab work. This gives him the skills to be self-sufficient in life.

In school, children simply come to class, sit there, everything is chewed up for them, they nod their heads, get grades, and go home. Today’s schools kill all independence. When a child finishes school, he is incapable of active achievement and self-study. But a college provides him with that, at least partially.

By slightly altering school and college, we will have a person who can develop independently for the rest of his life. Today, people who finish school or college do not receive the necessary skills to progress through life independently. They remain simple performers.

– In schools and universities, there is a notion of a “nerd.” This is a person who scrupulously carries out all the assignments and does everything “by the book.” On the opposite side of the “nerd” are shrewd young men and women who cut corners and find unconventional, new moves, and thus reach the goal by the short path. From your point of view, which path is better and more preferable for raising a child?

– These are completely different types of people. We have to give everyone the opportunity to start their own research in laboratories in different departments from the youngest age.

When I was growing up, there was a youth center close to our house. There were many laboratories in that house, like photography, physics, botany, and zoology. Back then, all of these things were innovations. Besides this, there were plenty of athletic clubs.

In my opinion, as part of the study process it is necessary to set aside time for additional scientific work so the students can try themselves out.

What remains in a person’s memory after college is precisely the lab projects where he did something on his own in practice, where he came up with results, calculated them, and so on. Everything else leaves very dim recollections of bogus formulas that are disconnected from real work.

“Nerds” and those who “tear the stars down from the sky” have different approaches to life. Both need to be given an opportunity to develop.

I don’t see any other way besides letting each student work independently. But we definitely have to ask him: What do you do besides the study program? Do you participate in anything? Where are your scientific achievements? The degree of their scientific character is not important. What’s important is that this forces a person to look for the necessary material in libraries and in scientific periodicals, and gives him an opportunity to create.

– Who should work as instructors, teachers, and educators in these shops and laboratories?

– The college staff.

It is very good to engage in scientific activity during college. I think it is also necessary to lessen the students’ load, to free them up from excessive theoretical subjects, and give them a chance to participate in scientific research.

– From what age does it make sense to organize these “scientific” clubs for children?

– I felt a calling to go into engineering and wanted to study it from age 9 or 10. I clearly remember that in our small city I did not find anything besides the youth center with its hobby clubs.

It is during childhood that a child begins to take interest in something specific. On our part, we have to support him in every way we can.

Right now we are mainly talking about upbringing. But upbringing has to happen together with education. How? Education works together with upbringing to the extent that one’s education is useful for the world. Only in the case of usefulness will education be not only in demand by others, but it will also bring about success, and alongside that, the child will be able to advance. His useful activity for others will be affirmed in Nature because it will be supported by Nature.

A person must know exactly to what extent his hobby or interest is necessary, if it fits into the common flow, and if it is connected to the main directions of society’s development. If not, then all of his work will be unsustainable.

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