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Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

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Postby Ghandi » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:28 pm

Hi Guys,

I am a Cypriot from Australia who has been on holidat in Cyprus.
I have written an article that relates the problems in Cyprus to its education systems.It might appeal to teachers,historina and sociologists.
I have posted it in the hope of getting some feedback on its strengths and weaknesses.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.


“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry” Albert Einstein .
I am an Australian Cypriot educator who after reading about the conservative and centralized system and talking to students, teachers and parents believes this system has to change. It is outdated and does not serve the interests of our new generation

The model is at its best in conveying facts to be retrieved and procedures to be executed on cue strangling the holy curiosity of inquiry. Don’t the youth of today need more to progress?

Many students will have queries or questions that they do not have the opportunity to ask under this system. Students should have the acknowledgement of their right to question and reason and the feeling that they are a community of learners and not isolated receivers.

The Czech Republic has always been big on creativity in there system, and for a small country has given the world an amazing number of ideas. Learning in Scotland isn't a one-way process in which students simply receive information from their teachers. Instead, they're encouraged to read widely, to research thoroughly and question what they learn at every opportunity. With its emphasis on proactive and independent thinking a Scottish education encourages skills that are relevant, marketable and much sought-after by today's top companies

. These countries are responsible enough to give students the right to an education that is motivating.
.
Their are many people who will prefer to keep their aversion and not change their opinions on their favored system. They suspect there is something wrong with other systems without proof. I believe this because all the research on educational theory shows that students will not learn to solve problems if opinions are not taught to change.

Humans have the ability for complex thought differentiating us from animals. This is simple philosophy If the system does not recognize this and teaches memorization instead of thinking then where is our intellectual integrity?

The existence of so much is being denied. A denial of minds that truly exist A denial of the fact that the illiterate of this generation are not the ones that cannot read and write but the ones that cannot think and act .

In the 21st century, the ability to engage in thinking is a fundamental characteristic of an educated person, a requirement for a responsible citizen who can be held accountable in a democratic society.
Critical thinking enables a person to, for example, responsibly judge between political candidates, and evaluate there own prejudices. In essence it allows for a meaningful existence.

Educations role is to leave a society better off but this is only possible if all its faults are admitted

We need to light the fire in students giving them an identity that is impossible to enslave. This can be done through promoting individual characteristics and personality in a classroom. If this is not done the youths identity will be socially constructed leaving them unaccountable for their life of learning. Why do we teach them to play so small?

Students must be given class time that is engaging and students centered or they will become passive and will become addicted to being told what to think and do.

To take intellectual risks is a much better preparation for real success in the world. As out times are constantly changing. Without the ability and courage to think through these changes and a world view which has flexibility their success is surely limited.

In many Cypriot classrooms the teacher is the knower of all the grand power.
. Were he stands and delivers all his knowledge while a class sits passively and absorbs. Should it not be their right to be taught to think and not what to think?

Imagine a country that is helped so much that it becomes reliant on another for its survival at the cost of an identity as they become invisible organs of the other nation. Yes other counties and teachers have helped but it should not be at the cost of any humanity.

Students have concerns that are not heard, they do not feel understood and I believe that they do not feel like their uniqueness belongs in the classroom. Without empathy and the similarities in learners being celebrated, I do not see how many classes will have a commitment to a better future.

Teachers have no right to treat students as “puppets “.If teachers have the power to control everything and students are not given opportunities to use their own beliefs and creativity they will indeed become puppets. The strings that are used to control with linger on in all there learning experiences. A teacher’s role should be based less on expecting and more on awaking expectations. Giving the leaders of tomorrow a chance.

In a world full of propaganda the education system should give students the opportunities to learn how to inquire into, instead of continually looking at a teacher to learn because then they will become easy pawns in any agenda. There learning should not be limited because they are from another time the age of information we do not need them to blindly accept and become lazy citizens.

Without the time given to develop ideas and there ability to tolerate ambiguity students learn to jump at less then optimal solutions. Why would a system create students who will become inferior decision makers?

Am I a traitor to the teaching profession if I think twice about whether I should correct a student who goes outside the lines in a coloring book or who has a different view on a “great “ leader or is this conformity warranted?

Isn’t it more important that we feel the shame that may lead us to change the system so students are taught responsibility for there own ideas. That empowerment is given back to our children as is the ability to clarify their values. Reflecting on the meaning of humanity will only create a better life for all.

Does the fault lie with the government, the teachers, parents, universities or teachers union?

I think that there have been some attempts at change through the history curriculum and many teachers have realized that a teacher based classroom is not what the education community is fighting for anymore.

There have been attempts for large training projects for teachers which are a difficult task as there is an ethnocentric mentality on what education should look like.

. Teachers in Cyprus also do not have much of a voice in this centralized system and most of there anxieties are therefore kept private and they’re accountability low. They also face similar problems to other races such as lack of space and time in the curriculum and the fact that changes in attitude require a long term perspective.

Essentially the system has not been reconstructed and we have a system that is taking the rights of young humans and this should be the shame of all groups except the students.

Cyprus is a unique island because its situation is different; it has many histories, nationalism, and many topics of discussion. This coupled with its small population and naïve educational history gives us hope, that it is the ideal place to create the openness needed, to give students the optimal learning environment that can set precedents world wide.
The teaching of co-operative debate can be an attempt at a solution to the current problems. Through Co-operative debate they learn to disagree with each other while confirming one another’s personal competences, learning through communication to judge ideas and not people
The habit of mind is a teaching method that teaches how to behave intelligently when confronted with problems, were the answers are not immediately known they search and give reasons for their opinions. I trust that this will lead to a life that promotes listening with understanding and empathy. A life with creativity and the ability to take responsible risks. The questioning and posing problem skill will help the youth become better at learning how to rise above basic cultural assumptions and in the process not forget there humanity.. We must not forget that humanity is based on a similarity of all thinkers the spirit of inquiry
Students must confront their suspicious of what is on the other side by thinking about how and why history is represented.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”. Charles Darwin.
All of the concepts discussed in this paper are in essence the problems not only in education but in Cyprus.

The Education system also does match the culture it comes from, so I think the problem is deeper than thought. It is the mentality and cultural basic assumptions of all our people. Through History we know that the political climate always affects the educational one.

The lack of dialogue, denial of wrongs, nationalism and the propaganda of difference and non acknowledgement of similarity, amongst the many other mistakes mentioned has made a solution in Cyprus difficult.

Sadly the definition of a democracy for the people by the people does not exist in our classrooms and therefore it is debatable if it ever really existed in our country. The people of Cyprus must take some responsibility for this and the leaders take a little more responsibility and also realize that
“The art of governing consists simply of being honest, exercising common sense, following principle, and doing what is right and just.”

Thomas Jefferson quotes


We need this not to forget the humanity of our world’s classroom and to give us the chance to live in a place that is truly ours. A place that and has survived with its peoples and cultures uniqueness.
Hakan Mapolar
[email protected]


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Postby pitsilos » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:30 pm

welcome back curry boy, ready for round 2, but make sure you have your wheat bix before we start :lol:
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Postby Ghandi » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:35 pm

Yes Skip,

Im sure i will get some "constructive " criticism from you.
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YES

Postby Ghandi » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:36 pm

Yes Skip,

Im sure i will get some "constructive " criticism from you.
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Postby pitsilos » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:41 pm

see i told ya to eat your wheet bix before we start and look what you did...your trembling right hand index finger shit itself and doubled clicked... :lol:
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Postby Get Real! » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:45 pm

Which level of education is your article referring to Ghandi?
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Postby reportfromcyprus » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:48 pm

Hi Ghandi, you refer to the Czech Republic in one of the first paras, isn't the article about Cyprus?

I appreciate your direction, ie, that there needs to be change, but I think you need more concrete examples of what needs to be reformed.

Good luck :)
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Postby pitsilos » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:57 pm

In the 21st century, the ability to engage in thinking is a fundamental characteristic of an educated person, a requirement for a responsible citizen who can be held accountable in a democratic society.
Critical thinking enables a person to, for example, responsibly judge between political candidates, and evaluate there own prejudices. In essence it allows for a meaningful existence.


ok gandi i am just gonna pick on this one coz i am having a bit of problem with.

here we go...
1. define an educated person
2. and how do you explain 99% of the teachers in OZ blindly voting labour?
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Postby Piratis » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:21 pm

Ghandi, in general I agree with what you said. However I believe that there is no one ideal method of teaching and that changing from X to Y all problems will be solved.

First of all there is a difference between the subjects. Maths and Philosophy can not be taught in the the same way. Secondly students are very different. Some can learn better in one way, others in another. Some are smarter than others. Some can have an inclination toward some subjects and simply hate other. Some can have a longer or shorter attention span etc etc etc.

Ideally for each subject there would be several different suitable methods of teaching it and each student could choose the one that suits him better. In the first years the students would be exposed to all different ways and by the time they are a bit older they would know what works for them and what doesn't. And when they will be done with their official education they should still be able to continue their education in a way that is suitable and enjoyable to them (which they might never know it exists if they were never exposed to it)
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Thanks

Postby Ghandi » Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:39 pm

Thanks guys,

I am writing about primary and secondary education.

I write about the Chez Rupublic because i am giving an example of what can be acheived with a different education system.

An educated person in the context of a changing world is one who has a respectful,creative,diciplined and social mind. A problem solver who can think through changes and information.

I dont know why teachers vote labour.

Yes philosophy and maths are different but i think that reflection and thought should be involved in all subjects.

Students do learn differently and i think the multiple intelligences should be used more widely in Cypriot classrooms.

I think i am getting the idea that it should be a little more specific with its points and have some more examples.

Any other thoughts ?
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