Culture and Education
Culture itself is neither education nor law making; it is an atmosphere and a heritage. —Henry Louis Mencken
Lucinda Zmarzly, my Mathematics professor and also my interviewee, was born in 1973, Lincoln, Nebraska. Then she went to public schools here. She started her college education in North-west University, studying chemical engineering. In her second year, she transferred to UNL and majored in Mathematics. I had an interview with her and let me use it to interpret how culture affects an individual’s core values of education and his/her teaching style.
Professor Zmarzly is humorous, kind, patient, being enthusiastic about the material, and thinking creatively of how to present the material. I think she has almost all the qualities of a perfect professor in both America and China. Nowadays with the development of globalization and the communication of different countries, almost all cultures have something in common. What’s more, diversity plays an important role in American culture, so Zmarzly tries to make her class and teaching methods suitable for all her students. As a result, she is popular not only in American students, but also in international students.
However, I still can see the difference between Professor Zmarzly and my teachers in China, including their teaching methods and the values of education, which results from the significant difference of culture between these two countries. In the interview, Zmarzly pointed out that she tried to take students on their individual basis. She claimed that she had a fantastic professor when she was in her third year of university, who always asked some challenging questions and encouraged students to use creativity to solve the problems with what they had learned. She also said, “Sometimes students today in America tend to be quizzed on the basic facts over and over again until everybody in the grade get them, then they move on.” This may make some students lose interest in...
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