1.Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? We should state our honest opinions even though other people may disagree with us.
Nowadays, most projects at school or in workplaces are completed by group work. When we work as members in a team, it is common that everyone in this team needs to present his or her opinions. Some people believe that it is better not to state our honest opinions sometimes so that out team members will non consider us as aggressive. However, to my understanding, always stating our honest opinions could benefit our teamwork in different ways.
For students, making our ideas known to classmates or group members is one of the most important steps when doing an assignment. It is true that the majority of our team members might hold different opinions from us. However, there is no guarantee that the majority is always correct about everything. It happens that the minority’s opinions are more advisable than what most people believe. Moreover, if everyone has the opportunity to state their honest opinion, the team could create an atmosphere that all team members could feel free to express their ideas, which will simulate the students’ critical thinking ability. When one student expresses his or her opinion that is different from others’, all group members will discuss about it together, thus to analyze whether it is correct or not, providing evidence to support their standpoints. This process of discussion will definitely lead to critical thinking. Therefore, I believe that students should state their honest opinions even when their classmates disagree with them.
In workplaces, many people refuse to state their opinion honestly in order not to offend their colleagues and supervisors. As far as I am concerned, if we express our opinions in appropriate and polite ways, others will not feel uncomfortable even if they disagree with us. On the contrary, our co-workers and supervisors will tend to consider us as honest person, and thus will be more willing to cooperate with us.
Admittedly, in certain cultures, it is impolite to always express opinions in a straightforward and honest way. Based on what I have learned about Japanese culture, the local people will keep silent and avoid stating honest opinion if they believe that others hold the opposite opinion. If someone speaks up in this situation, he or she will be perceived as a person who “does not read the atmosphere”, which means that the speaker fails to taking others’ feelings into consideration.
Although people from different cultures have different conventions in terms of how to express ideas different from others, I still prefer to make our voices be heard. This is because that our society is advancing when everyone feels free to discuss and interact with each other. Only in this way our discussions and daily work could elicit innovative ideas, which might be different from what the majority believes.
2.Most of the parents at sometimes find disapproval of the ways teachers are teaching their children. It’s not suggested for the parents to express their disapproval to the teachers. Do you agree?
Today, more and more parents are willing to get involved in their children’s education. They participate in teacher-parents conferencing, monitor their children’s learning process, and go to campus tour with their children, to name a few. Sometimes, parents find disapproval of the methods that teachers use in classrooms. In this situation, should they express their opinions to the teachers? I do not believe so.
To begin with, I don’t think that most parents have the knowledge of which types of teaching methods are appropriate in different types of classrooms. When deciding how to group students and how to adopt various types of activities, teachers need to take a lot of factors into consideration, such as the number of students in one classroom, students’ learning styles, and student’s motivation, among other factors.
This decision-making process is extremely complex, and parents who are not professionals in the field of education might just focus on their subjective feelings towards the teachers’ ways of teaching. Obviously, those feelings are not reliable in many cases. Therefore, it is inappropriate for parents to express their disapproval to the teachers.
Moreover, the majority of parents only care about their own children’s learning outcome. When they feel that a teacher’s ways of teaching are not satisfied, it is often the case that their own children are not performing well in that teachers’ class. In this situation, teachers should not change their teaching styles and classroom activities just because one or two children’s parents suggest so, especially in a classroom where there are more than thirty students. In this type of classrooms, some students are highly motivated whereas others might not. Also, students might prefer different styles of learning. It is almost impossible for teachers to find out ways of teaching that are suitable for all students in the classroom. Therefore, it is of no use that parents express their disapproval of teachers’ methods if their children are not one of the majority students. In this case, parents should try to help their children adjust to the teachers’ ways of teaching, instead of blaming the teachers.
Admittedly, parents, as one of the stakeholders in education, should be involved in the process of curriculum design, because their expectations on their children are always intertwined with children’s needs and wants. However, most parents are not professionals in the field of education, and teachers should not change their teaching methods just because a small portion of parents believes so.
In a word, it is better for parents not to express disapproval of teachers’ ways of teaching when they find that their children’s learning outcome is not satisfying. They should try to learn their children’s difficulties in learning and encourage their children to adjust to the teachers’ teaching methods.
3.Do you agree or disagree? People now are more interested in improving the neighborhood than in the past.
There is an old saying in Chinese that our neighbors could offer us greater help than our relatives do when we are in trouble. This proverb shows that neighbors have been playing an indispensable part of people’s life in China. Nowadays, some people still believe that the majority of us are interested in improving the neighborhood. However, in my opinion, people today neither have the time nor the willingness to maintain their relationship with neighbors.
To begin with, people today have intensive schedule of study or work, thus they have little time to spend on improving the neighborhood. For workers who need to financially support their families, they need to complete demanding assignments during workdays; sometimes they even need to work overload and overtime. Therefore, workers will be exhausted after five days of working, and might simply relax at home during the weekends. In terms of students, they usually do not hang out with friends as students in the past did, because they need to write numerous papers in order to earn credits and prepare for the college entrance exam. This phenomenon is especially true in Asian countries where students’ academic performance is referred to as the standard of good students or bad students. In this sense, students do not have time to play with their peers, let alone maintain relationship with neighbors.