Education we lost

    Recently, many of my friends and colleagues working in various sectors of the business have one and the same problem, which often turns into a request to prompt a competent specialist in a certain field. But I’m far from a bounty hunter, not an employee of HR, not a personnel manager — just a scientific researcher who has a very specific qualification, so addressing my modest person on this issue is nothing more than a gesture of despair. Such requests mean that the institutes that exist specifically for this purpose stop working, which leads to the need to look for more or less suitable personnel through familiar specialists. The problem is that these people are representatives of small business, department heads, novice entrepreneurs who do not have a large budget for hired personnel.
    What is going on?

    The stories about the course of the job interview are similar to each other like two drops. A comrade comes with a diploma, more often - in red, in specialized subjects - all five. The rest is simple: a qualification question, silence or stupidity in response, an attempt to draw out the applicant with a clarifying question, misunderstanding on the part of the applicant, gratitude for the time spent, farewell. Then the next one comes, and you understand that the previous one was not so bad. As a result, there is a dilemma: you can hire one of the interviewees at your disposal and pray that you can make a person out of it in a reasonable amount of time, or tighten your belts, rewrite the plan, cut costs and revise goals only in order to free up funds for hiring a more or less trained specialist. That is, paying for an entry-level qualification is a salary of a level above the average. One can simply forget about development in such a situation.

    In the story of diode bridgesA colleague gave an excellent illustration of this phenomenon. Personally, I am well aware of the sad amazement that pierces this article - I also grew up on the stories of the great achievements of Soviet Union engineering and it was simply unbelievable that such a level of engineering culture could simply sink into oblivion. But the thought piercing many comments was much more touching for me: “they gave little.” Say, a normal specialist should not work for a penny. I would like to immediately answer these gentlemen: it was by no means offered a penny, but for work that does not require outstanding skills and abilities. Of course, there are unique specialists who should receive a lot of money for their work - simply because no one else can do it. But this is not about possessing unique skills, but about knowledge and skills, the presence of which must be guaranteed by the provision of a diploma. And if you come to the employer and call yourself a certified electronic engineer, while being unable to draw a diode bridge, then you are a liar and a scammer trying to steal money and time from a potential employer, misleading him about his professional qualities.

    In this article I tried to describe my vision of this systemic problem, without bothering myself with the correct language. My words may well offend someone - your right. This is my personal opinion, which I will try to convincingly convey to the listener. It is up to you to agree with him, to dispute or just to dismiss it.
    So, about sore ...

    About the education system

    Any existing system in a changing environment can exist only as long as it maintains a connection with this environment and has an adequate idea of ​​its current state. This has been proven many times in the framework of a wide variety of theories. Speaking in Russian, the behavior of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand allows you to achieve only one thing - sincere surprise at the moment when the predator coming up from behind starts tearing you to pieces. Loss of connection with reality means the death of the system, instantaneous or extended over a sufficiently large period of time - it does not matter.

    Why all this? And besides, the time has come to admit - the world has changed, and has changed dramatically. In this changed world, old methods and principles no longer work, and ignoring these changes can lead to very sad consequences. This is the question of the system of science and education. And please, I don’t need to say that science and education are different things with different goals and objectives. I have already heard enough of this kind and I can say with confidence that any argument in favor of this thesis is untenable. If the goal of education is to first form a worthy member of society, then to form a competent specialist, then achieving this goal requires the formation of an adequate model of reality for the student - first a common, everyday, then a special, professional one. In this sense, education should never end, since reality is very volatile. The goal of science is to understand this very reality in its various manifestations. Understand and explain. To study and transfer. Science and education. One without the other is meaningless.

    Let's look at the facts. Previously, there existed an excellent Soviet-based system of science and education, aimed at acquiring fundamental knowledge by a young man with their subsequent consolidation in production. Why gorgeous? At least according to how many great minds were brought up in her bosom and how many scientific achievements were obtained. Not a single scientific direction of the twentieth century was complete without the significant contribution of Soviet scientists, and much of what comes to us today from behind the hill in the form of expensive know-how, when closely examined, turns out to be the realization of those ideas and results that come from Soviet science. No, they are there over the hill - well done, that they found the strength and courage to understand these ideas and put into practice, we could not. In this case, it only upsets me that the achievements of our fathers and grandfathers need to make a loop to deserve our attention, and they no longer appear in their original elegant form, but look like impressive achievements of systems alien to us. It is as if they would have nothing to surprise without it ... But this system of scientific schools, institutes and universities was good in the world that existed forty years ago, and any attempt to return to it was nothing more than a pursuit of a ghost of former greatness. There is no longer the level of industry at which the theoretical knowledge gained could be felt in practice. There is no planned economy that would allow at least an approximate assessment of the need for specialists in various fields and their qualifications. Worse than that the pursuit of world scientific trends has led to a huge gap between the theoretical principles taught in higher education and actual practice. To date, a decent professional education is really provided precisely by those universities that have managed to avoid this gap - even if at the cost of some lag behind the notorious “world level”. But the trains go, the planes take off and the atoms do not explode. Following Soviet traditions allows you to maintain life where industry still remains.

    It is worth clarifying that by the education system I do not mean the list of regulatory documents that are issued by units of our valiant government. No, the education system is the people who make it up: professors, associate professors, accountants, administrators, students, mothers of students - in general, everyone who is involved in the educational process. The laws of operation of this system are determined by agreements and agreements, explicit and implicit, between all its constituents. And this education system was supposed to adapt to the changes that had occurred. And she couldn’t. I think that the reason for this was exactly how well she established herself in the old days. Those people who worked most of their lives according to accepted guidelines, they brought up a new generation of future professors according to them and got used to the quite expected average result of their work, it was very difficult to realize the changes in time and to adapt to them. And they continued to do what they always did, unreasonably assuming that “at the entrance” they get about the same as before, and their actions lead to the same consequences. Changes were growing, but understanding did not come to the general mass of working people. Why? There were no new requirements for the system, changes "from above" did not change the essence, there was no significant discussion either within the system or outside it. Probably just afraid to touch something. Previously, it seemed to work pretty well ... But the connection with reality became less and less, the belief in the effectiveness of camouflage by sticking the head in the sand grew and grew. And finally we got what what they got. A complete isolation of the entire system of science and education from reality, which resulted in degradation at all levels - from school graduates to young professionals, scientific and pedagogical personnel. Moreover, this isolation has acquired a militant character. Degradation has reached such a level that even the most blind ones cannot ignore it. But instead of looking for reasons for the inconsistency of the current rules of the game, they blame everything on the lack of accuracy in their implementation, issue new directives, performance indicators, educational standards, recommendations, requirements, threats ... Personally, this reminds me of the behavior of a loser engineer who took a construction contract carts, but stupidly wheels set square. And now the time is running out, but the cart does not go. But instead of stopping and thinking the unfortunate engineer attributes the problem to insufficient “squareness" of the wheels and hysterically levels them with a file. At each level of the current education system, there is a feeling of one's own sinlessness, absolute rightness. And if I were asked to describe the principle of its functioning in one word, my choice is clear: irresponsibility.

    About engineering culture

    We have all heard about the high engineering culture that took place in Soviet times. Every time you need to emphasize the greatness of the Russian / Soviet engineering school, examples of flights of Soviet missiles, the power of Russian tanks and helicopters, and other large-scale, causing genuine pride in the homeland, examples are given. I think that any competent specialist will easily bring about the achievements of the Soviet school that have had a serious impact on the development of his field. What if you narrow the time frame to, say, the last twenty years and ask about the achievements of not the Union, but of modern Russia? It turns out to be more difficult here, because achievements are much more modest. No, many experts, with due desire, will certainly remember something, but the effect will not be the same. But now is not about that. Not about achievements, but about “culture”. What is meant by this culture? In order not to engage in lengthy discussions, we define the engineering culture of an individual as the ability to solve engineering problems with a sufficient degree of professionalism and draw informed conclusions that go beyond the scope of his everyday professional duties. A measure of engineering culture then can be considered the width of the circle of engineering issues in which the individual to an acceptable extent can be considered a specialist. We accept without evidence the thesis that the engineering culture in the Soviet Union was quite high - this is quite obvious to those who had experience with engineers of the "old school", and return to the problem raised by the author of the article on diode bridges, namely, the level of engineering culture of graduates of engineering universities, observed recently.

    And we come to a disappointing conclusion - he inexorably falls to an indecent level. A colleague gave an example with diode bridges - an issue that is included in the basic university course in electronics. Let me remind you, just in case, that electronics is an obligatory course in any engineering specialty, and to answer the above question you don’t even need to understand this subject deeply, you only need to know three things: what is a diode, the direction of the current in the circuit, and why you need a bridge. Unable to answer these questions, the “specialist” in the logic of things should not have received a diploma at all. And if a graduate with a degree in “Engineering Technology” can still be forgiven for the lack of an instant “at least-wake up” answer, then for a person for whom electronics is a specialized subject - in no case. But describing the recruitment process,

    Leave ridiculous comments that the employer did not offer much and that qualified personnel simply did not go to him. The described people generally should not work in their specialty, much less receive money for this. But they work. Not in their specialty - so close so much that the availability of sufficient knowledge and skills should be guaranteed by the presence of this very engineering culture.
    Which is not. Well, the truth is, if a person does not possess elementary knowledge in his immediate specialty, is there really reason to believe that he possesses it in another way, even though arbitrarily close? He is guaranteed to be an amateur. And if he works, it means that such a level of specialist is considered acceptable in the organization that hired him. Personally, I would really not like to have any business with such an organization. And you?

    Generation Wikipedia

    I think there is no need to convince anyone that the advent of the Internet has changed everything. Any information has become available, just ask a question to Google (or who has religion there) and you will get an answer. Or maybe a few answers. Just a holiday - an abundance of information, opinions, interpretations, everything is quick and clear.

    So we used to think. And they came to the conclusion: if the information is always at hand, if you can quickly get an answer to any question, then you don’t need to know anything. If you want to know something - open Wikipedia. I will not even dispute the thesis that there is everything on the Internet, I just point out the consequence - the complete depreciation of such a thing as professionalism. Today, every gopher is an agronomist. To read about something does not mean to understand something, it requires much more complicated mental work — to derive consequences, to find inconsistencies with what you knew before, to reveal non-obvious points, and so on. Available information is only useful to someone who can perceive and critically interpret it - and for this you need to already have a good understanding of the issue under study. Competent work with information is also a skill that needs to be learned.

    In education, Wikipedia has had terrifying consequences for me. In the student community, information search is replaced by Yandex search. I don’t have any complete statistics, but at my university the number of students in the university library from the moment I was a student, even during the session, decreased by five times, and this figure would probably have been even greater if they had not been held there free wifi. Only eight years have passed since I was a freshman — and then there was no place to sit in the library during the session. Fragments of the text handed over by students of term papers and essays can be found without straining in the issuance of search engines, just like a survey on material given for independent study, turns into a reproduction of Wikipedia articles. But in the teaching environment, Wikipedia has led to even worse consequences. Those, if I may say so, teachers who are younger and more inventive, read lectures downloaded from the Internet at lectures, or even if they are too lazy, they appoint speakers from among the students who find and reproduce this material instead. The other side of the coin is the teacher’s complete disregard for such a factor as a student’s understanding of the material presented. Let's be honest, for many, exam preparation is finding answers to exam tickets online on the night before the exam. We are not talking about any understanding and connectedness of thoughts. And if the teacher taking the exam is not a complete idiot, then he sees it perfectly. And often does nothing. Because to admit it is to sign for your failure as a teacher, at least for this particular course, to admit your mistakes, to work on yourself. It's hard. It’s easier to forget and say that the students are bad. And not only students are bad, but also those who allowed them to study like that.

    I’m not at all trying to say that Wikipedia, Yandex, the Internet are evil in itself and they need to be isolated from them. Not at all. It’s just that these are elements of existing reality and their influence needs to be analyzed and taken into account. It’s time to understand that the availability of information has made teaching as a profession not at all easier, but much more difficult, since the teacher’s goal is not only and not so much to hammer young heads with various facts, but to link them into a single consistent system. That is, you need to remember that the university should train professionals, not intellectual talk show players.

    Imitating Chernyshevsky, or an occasion to stone me

    In this section, I allow myself to give an answer (or at least part of the answer) to the classic Russian questions: “who is to blame?” And “what to do?”.
    Who's guilty?The answer to the first part is more or less clear. No need to scold the ministries and the hedgehog with them, they are even sweet in their stupidity. What to expect from people who regularly get reports on, where the colors show how everything is good and progressive? Certainly not qualified management decisions. No gentlemen. We are to blame for allowing and continuing to allow this, those who like this situation and those who do not care. Stop feeding yourself the illusions that if you do not teach, we will learn for ourselves. Those who were lucky enough to learn from real professionals on their life journeys understand that even half an hour of communication with them can breathe life into the dry, seemingly well-known, but not very well-understood intricacies of the theory and cover your "ingenious" technical solutions with a copper basin. This is their experience, their knowledge, which you will not find in most books, and certainly not found on the Internet. Do not underestimate the role of the teacher.

    Are you a teacher? Pull your head out of the place where it is, sorry, and realize that you are creating the future. Yes, what the hell pathetic? You train those who will later go to work, and the quality of your life also depends on the quality of this work. Do not console yourself with phrases such as “this is not a qualification subject, they will not need it” - you do not know this. Which is better: to be loved by everyone for their “human” attitude and to produce non-professionals, or to incur hatred of loafers, but to release specialists for whom it would not be a shame? I understand that it is difficult, that there is a lot of bureaucracy, barriers and stupidity, but if you have already chosen such a job, have the courage to do it properly.

    Are you a student? Answer the simple question: “What do you do to master the profession?” No, seriously, how many books have you read lately? How do the grades in your gradebook reflect the real level of your knowledge? There is nothing wrong with admitting to yourself the presence of gaps. The question is what you will do about it.
    You can continue by appealing to the mind of parents, examiners and others. The idea, I think, is understandable. You can shout that the world is not fair, that everyone is doing this, but you can try to do something about it. And start, preferably with yourself.

    What to do?Regarding the day of tomorrow. The vusocentric system of consciousness did its job and led to all of the above. "You do not have a crust - then you are nobody." It needs to be changed. It is necessary to revive technical schools and clearly define their function - the training of secondary specialists with a specific specialization. And to understand that it is not shameful to be a graduate of vocational schools - without locksmiths, turners, coders, the work of an engineer of arbitrarily high qualification does not make sense. Let us honestly admit to ourselves - many university graduates already have the level of an average young fellow, and their salaries are required at the level of a competent staff of the highest qualification.

    In universities, it is necessary to change the policy under which each applicant is supposed to hold out until graduation. Whether you like it or not, professional inadequacy exists, it is necessary to identify and take appropriate measures. This, of course, will lead to a reduction in the number of students, but there is nothing wrong with that - there should not be many highly qualified personnel - they should be enough, which means that it should be hard to be a student. For example, would you like to see a doctor who studied through his sleeves, and even worked part time? Or so that the house in which you live is built by those who conceived the construction mech for beautiful eyes? Teachers should also be significantly less and the requirements for them should be much tougher. You need to understand that only a good specialist can teach - but not every good specialist can teach.

    The value of higher education needs to be enhanced. In a situation where every first one is a happy owner of a crust on higher education, and often not just one, the prefix “higher” itself loses all meaning. The scatter in quality is such that the fact of the presence of a crust does not mean anything. At the same time, in the conditions of the modern economy, it seems to me pointless to try to identify a clear grid of specialties, just as to determine the list and content of subjects read in each specialty. There is no need to push the teacher into such a narrow framework - let him finally tell what he considers necessary and important, and in the way he considers necessary. And let students choose what to study. This will immediately kill a few birds with one stone ricochet. Firstly, the need to independently draw up a curriculum will lead the student to think about future employment not a month before graduation, but at the very beginning of training. Secondly, each teacher will be able to determine the requirements for preparing students with whom he will work. You can’t draw a diode bridge - I’ve gone off the mechatronics course. Thirdly, weak teachers will naturally be eliminated when listening to their course does not lead to the desired employment. Fourth and fifth may be called. Does this contradict the education traditional for Russia? In my opinion, not at all. Russian science, being the basis of Russian education, is based on a variety of scientific schools, and their achievements should reach the ears of not only the scientific community, but also those who can apply them in real practice. Diversity is power, and any attempt to average the achievements of Russian and world science to a common denominator will only lead to depletion and waste of human potential. The RAS organically fits into this system, the achievements of which can become the basis for special courses and, through young specialists, find their embodiment in real sectors of the economy. And if the state finances universities, let it finally clearly determine which specialists and in what quantity he needs, and don’t swallow tons of dough, it’s not clear what. the achievements of which can become the basis for special courses and, through young specialists, find embodiment in real sectors of the economy. And if the state finances universities, let it finally clearly determine which specialists and in what quantity he needs, and don’t swallow tons of dough, it’s not clear what. the achievements of which can become the basis for special courses and, through young specialists, find embodiment in real sectors of the economy. And if the state finances universities, let it finally clearly determine which specialists and in what quantity he needs, and don’t swallow tons of dough, it’s not clear what.

    As for today, if you are engaged in real engineering activities and do not exclude the possibility of expansion, invest today in the future. In the second or third year, it is quite possible to find guys who can and want to master the profession. No need to wait for initiative from universities - it will not be. Take these guys to practice, short internships - in the end, just talk to them. There is nothing more inspiring than communicating with a true specialist. Believe me, there are even those who will go to work for free or for a nominal fee - experience is more valuable. Many will eventually be eliminated, but those remaining will become specialists in whom you can be sure. Not to mention that you will do a really useful job.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Do you agree with my vision of the situation?

    • 4.8% No, complete nonsense 79
    • 2.8% Author, but what do you even understand? 46
    • 5.5% Overall Disagree 89
    • 40.5% Overall agree 656
    • 7.9% I agree with the analysis, I do not agree with the conclusions 128
    • 5.5% The conclusions are fair, but the reasons are different 90
    • 32.7% Strongly Agree 529

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