General Education (GE) is defined as "that part of a curriculum that is shared by all students (regardless their original major/profession), provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines, and forms the basis for developing important intellectual and civil capabilities" (Spencer Benson, 2009). With the rapid development of society, the demand of multi-disciplinarily personals is growing dramatically. In order to broaden students’ knowledge and let them respond creatively and seize opportunities to cope with the complexity, change and diversity, many universities among the world are pursuing high qualities of general education. (University of Macau, n.d) In UM, every student needs to take 13 general educational courses chosen from four areas, which are language and communication, science and information technology, society and culture, self-development.
However, is general educational succeeding in its goals in UM? Unfortunately, the answer is not. General education is not as effective as we image in our university. One phenomenon we can observe is that there are some students who are absent-minded or sleepy in class. When asked about the important content in textbooks, many students’ answers are far from satisfaction and they even complain that they gain almost nothing meaningful in their general education courses. This discounted situation is a long-standing problem and it should be improved without doubt.
You may ask that what the causes of this phenomenon are? In fact, there are many reasons to account for this failure in UM. Benjamin states that “The predominant sign of this failure is the student attitude toward general education.” (2013) .Students in UM don’t fully understand the importance about general education. For example, students whose major are electrical engineering may think that it is useless to learn literature and history. The only things they should work hard on are their major courses. That kind of idea is lack of long-term perspective and needed to be correct.
Apart from this reason, there are also some other reasons to explain the phenomenon. According to my survey distributed to students in UM, some students say that they need high GPA to find a good job in Macau, they don’t want general educational courses pull their GPA down. So a big part of they choose general educational courses just according the degree of difficulty rather than students’ own interests. Besides, some general educational courses are difficult to learn. For instance, science and information technology may be a big difficult for students who were major in liberal arts. The professors require a deep understanding of the content in textbook; many students fail to meet of strict standard in exams. What is more, they also mention that some compulsory courses have already taken a big part of their spare time. There are lots of assignments and presentations for them to do. So students can not squeeze too much time to study the general...