(This question seen on the General exam in Brisbane, Australia.)
Some believe that students who fear their teachers excel academically. Others believe students work better when they have a friendly relationship with their teacher. Discuss these views and provide your opinion.
Education styles vary from one place to another. Among some circles, it is felt that students who hold a modest level of trepidation for their teachers excel in their studies to a greater degree than students who consider their teacher a friend. Both sides of this argument will be analysed before a conclusion is reached.
On the one hand, many contend that better academic results are attained by teachers who instil a degree of fear in their students. High school instructors in Shanghai, for example, have an extremely rigid teaching style that involves disciplining students for every mistake they make, no matter how small. Although this system may seem callous, it gets results, as Shanghai’s high school students placed top in the world last year for an international standardised aptitude test. As this shows, students who are afraid of their teachers excel in their studies.
On the other hand, many people contest the above and argue that students who share friendly relationships with teachers work better. For instance, the American education system typically allows students to experience a much more intimate relationship with their teachers and many argue this helps implant young people with inspiration. As the US is the most innovative country in the world today, there may be some merit to this argument. Thus, it is understandable why many feel students learn to work better under this educational arrangement.
Following this debate, I agree that a teacher should be an approachable person that nevertheless induces a healthy sense of fear and respect in their students, and I hope this balance will be present in the teachers of the future.
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