IELTS Writing Sample #104
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some people think that universities should not provide so much
theoretical knowledge but give more practical training throughout their courses.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
You should write at least 250 words.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
In the past, a majority of academics have held the opinion that universities
should only offer a theoretically-based approach to teaching throughout their
courses, as opposed to the more recent trend towards empirical acquisition of
knowledge involving more “hands on” experience. Is this the most effective way
for students to learn vital academic information while undertaking their
degrees? Undoubtedly, advantages and disadvantages of both academic learning
styles have to be evaluated.
Firstly, on the one hand, despite being the more traditional educational approach, learning from theory in relevant academic discourses to identify established knowledge allows us to gain a professional insight. For example, students can easily identify facts and opinions from past discourses. In addition, students acquire knowledge more easily when given relative theoretical examples to build upon. For instance, in subjects such as history or sociology, studying textbook examples allows students to unravel complex academic theories which they could expand on. Alternatively, there are some disadvantages for students.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that students could find themselves reading tedious and monotonous academic papers. For instance, university degrees involving the evaluation of numerous ‘long-winded’ academic discourses provide little inspiration for students, discouraging enthusiasm. Obviously, interest can be stimulated through empirical research in class. By this I mean that ‘the human brain learns best by doing’. Although time-consuming, there is no substitute for learning from making mistakes.
In conclusion, while both approaches have benefits and drawbacks in our ever-changing academic world, I honestly believe that a more practical approach promotes a stronger acquisition of academic knowledge. In spite of the comprehensive nature which theoretical teaching can possibly provide, practical learning equals more positive learning for future generations.