The purpose of education should be to create an academic environment that is separate from the outside world

Essay by mpxq March 2004

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It is unwise to assume that a separated environment is ideal for education; I do not believe that such an environment may be helpful to students' learning and study as well as the development of theory. On one hand, theory comes from practice and is based on the observation of real world, without touch with real world one can not understand those knowledge well. On the other hand, any theory must to be applied to direct our practices, without touch with real world appealing for the application of theory is just hot air.

As we can see, without practice any theory is groundless. Geometry emerged as the tool for ancient Egyptian to measure their fields. Chemistry arise from the works of people who had ever tried to create medicines from several raw materials. Civil engineers base any of their ideas on Newton's three principles, which are based on the observation of the movement of objects in real world.

Without the observation of the real world, scientists can not have raw materials for constructing their theories, if any, they are not scientists but story-tellers. So any theory is description of the real world, if we want to better learn some ideas and understand them, the best way is keep eyes open to the real world while learning theory. My own experiences also lead me to this conclusion. I have ever learned theoretical mechanics, and many terms in it are hard to be understood, but when it comes to use these terms to describe real world's movement, and when I face functioning machines, I can take more insight into the principles and better understand those abstract terms.

Furthermore, keeping minds open to the real world is also necessary in the development of theory. The application of a theory may be one...