Consider the following comments and develop a piece of writing in response to one or more of them. Your writing will be judged on the quality of your response to the theme, how well you organise and present your point of view, and how effectively you express yourself.
- ‘Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing wroth knowing can be taught.’ – Oscar Wilde
- ‘Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.’ – B.F Skinner
- ‘In education there should be no class distinction.’ – Confucius
- ‘The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.’ – Winston Churchill
- ‘The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values.’ – William Ralph
Suggested Theme: Education (Section A)
Time limit in the actual exam: 30 mins
Chosen Quote: ‘The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.’ – Winston Churchill
Life-long Continuing Education
Education is the central force to obtain common knowledge and to drive the motivation for self-growth. Winston Churchill ‘s quote, ‘The empires of the future are the empires of the mind’, suggests the outcome of the schooling and education varies individually based on their skill, mindset, and commitment. The following dialectic explores the benefits of commencing education at a later stage of life.
The socio-cultural norm and expectations set preconceived ideas about life. The parents or family members impose formative rules on their children to simplify the understanding of the world. They are the authority figures, and their influences on the children are far-flung – from religion to education, and the commencement of schooling occurs passively and involuntarily as a social obligation. Vishen Lakhiani, the author of ‘The Code of Extraordinary Mind’, suggests that parental background plays a critical role in the inheritance of the culture, social class, and influences the educational choice for the children. The influence is most notable in their early adulthood and the time of entering labour market; thus the desired educational/career path at youth is a product of meeting the idealised expectations from the parents or family members without having much social experiences or self-determinations.
In contrast, the determination of pursuing extensive studies or shifting gears and swapping careers can come from the fulfilment of lifelong passions obtained only after spending a decent amount of time within the socio-economic sphere as an adult. The conscious approach to further in education as a mature age student provides many advantages – they are more focused, committed, and emotionally capable of handling challenging situations. Additionally, research conducted as a part of the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project shows that age has no adverse effect on their performances; they are less affected in their academic success by psychological factors that impacts younger students, such as social connectedness, anxiety and depression. The research also shows that the commencement of studies at a later stage of life benefits older people – especially concerning dementia; thus, there is no age limit as to when to begin the active studies.
Ordinary mindset follows humanity’s collective rules, beliefs and practices about life, and accepts the status quo without seeking their authentic potential. On the other hand, the conscious and active approach to education as an adult with the right mindset can be not only beneficial as a self-investment but also rewarding and satisfying; thus contributing to finding a meaning of life.
Feedback from METC Institute:
Engagement with the chosen topic:
The student shows a sufficient level of engagement with their selected quote. They understand the key themes and ideas being represented here. The line of argumentation is rather far fetched and lacks a real clarity in its connection to the quote.
Knowledge and thought:
There are a few attempts here at utilising secondary evidence in both the thesis and antithesis but these are not overly effective. They lie within the realm of the topic but do not provide any real direct support to the arguments.
Structure of the Essay:
The recommended structure is generally followed. There is an antithesis although more time could have been spent developing this before returning to the thesis. The omitted paragraph, the synthesis and signposting of paragraph does not help the reader to follow the argument. Overall the argumentation is confusing and lacks a real cohesive structure.
There are a moderate number of issues with fluency, accuracy, and attention to detail in the student’s writing. These issues do unfortunately occasionally damage the strength of the student’s argument and the clarity of their writing. There is an overall confusion, which makes the student reasoning often difficult to discern.
Overall this essay lacks a real sense of direction. The arguments link to the quote is hard to fully discern and as such it is difficult to navigate. There is obvious work here but it lacks the necessary clarity and focus.
You may have good ideas but if you don’t properly convey these then that is a key issue. Try and begin with a plan and adhere to this so you don’t end up with your arguments being lost.
Feedback from AceGAMSAT:
This is a good essay. I am very impressed. There is a strong and a steady flow of logical commentary. What I especially enjoy, paragraph to paragraph, the way in which you draw on a variety of different discourses on the subject of education. This is the most effective choice you make. The evidence is effective. Your tone is strong and consistent. You score highly in all of the following areas, bar one:
- You must clearly set up the context of your argument. This means that you must make it abundantly clear, perhaps over three sentence or more, why this debate exists in the first place.
- Your stance must directly connect to what you set up in terms of context.
- Your evidence must directly relate to your highly specific stance.
So in short, I would focus a little more on context. This will help your reader follow the thread of your argument much more successfully.
Feedback from the Gold Standard GAMSAT:
The essay addresses the theme of the quotes well, although the interpretation of the Chrchill’s quote is somewhat puzzling. The structure is a strength in this essay.
Thought and Content:
We apologise but we cannot figure out how you read the Churchill quote about ‘empires of the mind’ as meaning that ‘the outcome of the schooling and education varies individually based on their skill, mindset, and commitment’. The generally accepted meaning is that the future will be based more on intellect and innovation rather than physical effort. There is of course nothing wrong with the approach you wish to take, but this somewhat bemusing interpretation is not the way to introduce it. While it is a good idea to include one of the quotes in the introduction (or elsewhere in the essay), it does need to fit.
We are 100 per cent in agreement with you about the benefits of lifelong learning, and about switching career path later in life, once one has had to opportunity to experience a bit more of life. As teachers, we’re always very happy when we have an older learner in our classes for exactly the reason you mention. We are not aware of the studies that you cite, but we are pleased that such studies are being done and showing that we are always capable of learning new things.
Language and Structure:
As noted, the overall structure of this essay is excellent. The introduction lets the reader know exactly what to expect and in this case, is not disappointed. Your analysis of how education and learning have become solely focussed on and expected for the young is well-observed and well-stated. Don’t be afraid to put forth your own ideas on the theme, even if you can’t exactly pin one of the quotes to it.
You write well and you know how to structure the essay and the arguments – these base skills will serve you well in the exam.
Despite our reservations about the validity of your interpretation, this is a good essay.