Regular attendance in all classes at school or university is essential to improving academic achievement.
Questions of personal development of students and the formation of their readiness for future professional activities are keys to the theory and practice of improving the work of modern education institutions. This is because the initial phase of “assimilation” with profession comes just during learning, as well as the process of self-determination of a young man in life: he forms his life and philosophical positions, develop individualized methods of work, behavior and communication.
In this case one of the leading problems is to build such a system in educational institutions that will be optimal for not only personal development of students, but also their professional development as specialists, their readiness to work.
Consequently, more urgent becomes the problem of identifying the relationship and interdependence of two processes: the personal and professional development of student and the process of studying. That’s why it is necessary to determine how the learning process and attendance of college or university affect personal characteristics of students: their professionalism, willingness to work, depth of knowledge, and a total success in the future profession.
Education is part of the process of personality formation. Through this process, society transmits knowledge, skills from one person to many other. During studying the student is not only given, but also imposes certain points of view, opinions, social and cultural values.
The learning process is aimed at the socialization of the individual, but sometimes it interferes with the true interests of the student. For example, some students prefer the process of self-education and not attending schools or university, but rather choose learning by correspondence or distance learning.
But here the question arises: how effective is that education? Also, some students do not attend university or college because it is a waste of time for them. However, in the future, these students will have to work, and their professional knowledge and skills are in question. Consequently, there is a fundamental question: how attendance of the university or college affects the professionalism and success in the future work of the student?
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Full-time education and lessons attendance in the learning process
The traditional form of education is the internal form, when students should strictly attend classes, lectures and seminars. Most students continue to choose this form of education despite the difficulties of economic nature: during 5 years students will not be able to work full time, and will have to devote most of the time to studying.
In this paper we consider the importance of such form of education for students, and in particular the importance of attendance of classes for their future professional activities.
The main purpose of full-time education, when students attend classes, is that the learning process should give students a certain system of knowledge, should work out a certain way of thinking, should give practice of progressive efforts to obtain and use the knowledge. This type of education is the most widely used today and is based on obtaining the knowledge and skills under the scheme: the study of new material – consolidation of the material learnt – monitoring of results and their evaluation.
The main characteristics of full-time education is that:
– first, that teachers give students their knowledge, experience and skills;
– secondly, teachers not only provide students with the necessary stock of knowledge, but also instruct them on various options of life and job situations.
This suggests that classes in schools and universities not only provide students with all the necessary information, but also give the social aspects of educating young people. The above conditions are complementary, and give students all-round development.
Based on this, the most common presentation of full-time education, we should pay attention to some specific features of traditional schooling. There is a joke that has a deep sense: “Education – is what remains with a person after he forgets everything he was taught”. Indeed, much of the information people get is usually forgotten after some time, but self-educational and social aspects of learning remain. On this basis, it would be logical to assume, that together with the giving a certain amount of facts and algorithms, the most important task of education is the development of intellectual capacities of students.
From a classroom management viewpoint, there are many logistical reasons to require attendance. Group projects are very negatively affected when a group member does not show up for labs. Class morale is lowered when students show up late and have no clue of the topic being discussed. Students claiming that coming to class is unnecessary to get good grades influence other students, even if they do benefit from attending class. (Clump et al. 2003)
However, class expedience is a secondary issue, compared to every instructor’s responsibility to teach her course as effectively as possible. Learning is a joint and wonderful journey between each student, her peers and her instructors. Although the world of academia is rapidly changing with an ever increasing distance- learning component, the sole reading of a textbook (or watching of a screen) cannot be compared in richness and effectiveness of a classroom experience.
To fully present the importance of full-time education and lessons attendance, it is necessary to give characteristics of students that prefer full-time education and attend lessons. Who is now a regular full-time student? This is usually a young man who understands that for serious work you must have higher education. He deliberately chooses a full-time education, wishing to devote five or six years of his life learning, mastering the profession. He believes that the acquired knowledge will help to find work in his soul, to take a worthy place in life, to grow in the profession and to ensure an acceptable quality of life for themselves and their future family.
Many research and experiments about the regular attendance show that students who attend classes achieve better results in education. For example Clump et al. (2003) studied the effect of attending class in a course in General Psychology,comparing the performance of students “who were present on days were given with those who were not present.” They conclude that “attending class is one of the best things students can do with regards to their grades. This is the case for both the immediate future and for the entire course.” (Clump et al. 2003)
Of cource not all studies find a significant correlation between attendance and academic performance of students, but still the evidence is very clear.
The advantages of full-time education and importance of attending classes
The advantages of full-time education and attending classes are the following:
1. It is an opportunity for direct communication with the teachers, because the personal factor plays a huge role in any work, and especially in education as from teacher’s lectures students can learn much more than from a textbook or the Internet.
2. Full-time students have time to visit libraries, conferences, and that, of course, deepens the theoretical knowledge, which is a necessary for professional competency.
3. Full-time students have more opportunities to realize themselves in the faculty and the institute’s activities, that is to participate in the informal life of the university. This is of great importance for students, because it is the experience of public speeches, reports and other types of professional activity, which is important for their future career.
4. A graduate degree of full-time education has traditionally higher value than any other form of education. The employer understands that the student who has devoted five years of his life to studying the profession, has not only acquired a vast knowledge, but also learned how to produce his own labor.
Unfortunately, attendance policy has some shortcomings, especially they are important in our times, when grants are small, and the opportunity to work for students is excluded because of lack of time. Of course, full-time education provides fewer opportunities for part-time job, as classes at the institute, as a rule, take time from nine o’clock in the morning to five o’clock in the evening daily, except weekends. So when some students are forced to look for jobs, they have less time for good studying, regular visits of lectures, seminars and libraries.
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Unfortunately, apart from a real desire to acquire knowledge and mastery of good profession, sometimes student come to high school for very different reasons, for example when parents make them to do this. These students often failed to see an independent life after graduation, and do not understand why they need certain knowledge, what they want in the future profession. This leads to infantile attitude to educational process, focus on formal memory from some students and the desire to just get a good grade, or “slip” from others. Some of the criticism for implementing an attendance policy is that it assumes that students cannot judge what is good for them, and that they, not the instructor should decide if they should attend a particular class on a particular day. To make a rational decision to attend or skip class, a student must judge the value of each of these two options. But, it is in the human nature that immediate necessities are preferred over long-term advantages (Kahn et al., 2004). To assume that a young person can appreciate the long-term value of education is a weighty assumption.
In all cases, any decision seems rational from the viewpoint of the person taking it. In the case of class attendance, students may skip class for reasons that have nothing to do with bettering their learning. If the student is viewed simply as the instructor’s customer, then any student decision is, by definition, right. The same way that the instructor chose not to stop by the coffee shop and get his coffee before coming to class, the student chose to skip it. In both cases, it is a student’s decision.
Of course, the situation is changing in senior courses, when student usually already have a professional interest, and begin to think about future employment.
Often, students find a job during university studies mainly in order to try out their future profession, to acquire the necessary experience and facilitate their employment after high school.
In addition, many students do not understand the importance of learning each subject from the original sources. Information obtained from the Internet can not replace the material of textbooks, which contain the author’s view on the events and phenomena, that present information in a discussion manner and encourage students to think independently. The role of books in education is still difficult to overestimate.
In any profession there can be more than one specialization. The system of production practices will help students understand what exactly he wants to do, and simultaneously check the correctness of the chosen profession. In addition, students need to know and use the opportunity to obtain additional specializations in learning. For example, at the faculty of Management there is an opportunity to learn specialization “international management” to learn further several world management practices and so on. This will allow students to have a broader look at their future profession, but also improve the chances of finding employment.
Starting from the second year all students write and defend courseworks. At the upper classes students have the opportunity to choose the theme of course work with the expectation of a particular use. For example, a fourth-year students of faculty of State and municipal management have course works tasks to produce a business plan. It is a well-known fact that a business plan is a required document for many firms, so the skills of making a good business plan are essential for every professional manager in future.
Conclusion and my attitude to the topic
This paper shows that there is enough and consistent evidence to conclude that student attendance is important for getting good knowledge, skills, it improves student academic performance and professional characteristics.
Generally the system of full-time education and classes attendance is based on the following principle: it is assumed that the student consciously choose future profession and ready to work on the acquiring necessary knowledge and skills, thus, responsibility for the outcome of the learning process rests largely on the student, as it is assumed that he has an active interest in this.
I fully agree about the importance of full-time education. I’m sure that college or university attendance gives students plenty of opportunities to get knowledge, skills that are necessary for future profession. Such students have far more opportunities not only to get information relevant to the future job, but to develop their own skills and talents.
Also full-time education provide students with opportunities to try themselves in future profession, to acquire the necessary experience and facilitate their employment after high school or university.
For example many technical colleges have practical lessons in specialized enterprises, engaged in training students of relevant specialties within their walls. Some subjects students learn not at their desks and not in the teaching laboratories, but directly in the factories, where they can observe the work of unique equipment and try their skills. Similar processes take place in the humanities courses, when during the practice students work in advertising agencies, public opinion research centers, labor exchanges.
The conclusion may be that the main objective of any education, whether secondary or higher education is to teach people to think independently, to teach students the chosen subjects and professions. But achieving such a goal is impossible to imagine without the activity of students interested in the results of their training.
In conclusion I would like to note that the choice of full-time education is a major step for the future of the student and his family. It is difficult, but the most productive and promising way of acquiring a profession. More and more young people nowadays understand that lessons attendance opens new opportunities for self-realization, finding good job, moving up the social ladder, providing a decent standard of living.
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