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12-08-2012, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mathradio View Post
Do CEGEPs really provide anything decent with respect to liberal arts education?

Many of us know the CEGEP liberal arts drill:

- 4 French-language literature classes+2 English classes (or 4 English-language literature classes and 2 French classes in an Anglophone CEGEP)
- 3 philosophy courses
- 2 elective courses outside the DEC's field

I contemplated going abroad for graduate school but I'd have to TA at all the locales I considered. That, in itself, is not a big deal, since I'd have to TA in a Canadian university also. But, if I am to TA at a given school, I think it's best to know at least a little bit what the students there go through, especially if I start out TAing introductory courses.

And, if I go to the US for graduate school, I realized most undergraduate programs require more than 15 credits (split the requirements above in two so as to spread them out in high school senior year and first-year university) of liberal arts education requirements, so I know the ones I'd have in my classes as a TA in the US just don't live the same educational experience as I would if I TAed in a Quebec university.
It depends on who your teachers. Some of them are great, some of them should be retired.

I had a few french, english, and philosophy courses and I wouldn't trade those experiences. Some people I know had as good or better experiences. Many did not.

Wherever you go as a TA you will find a broad spectrum in abilities. Many people can't write in English. Sometimes, it's for tolerable reasons: they are foreign students, and are just starting to learn English. That's fine. Other times, you'll have no idea how these people made it through the system. However, at the same time, in every class, you'll have a few spectacular kids, totally impressive, that you find to be way above the mean level.

If you're TAing astronomy 101 the students will have had fewer LA experiences than you: they wiil be first-year students.

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