Two fallacies of an Academic


I have just read a book on a Chinese historical figure by the name of Zeng1 Guo2 Fan1.

He has mentioned that as an academic, he has identified two fallacies in his life, which are:

  • Poor theoretical practitioner: While fluent with theories, academics are poor practitioners of theories. In another words, academic are good at espousing ideas and thoughts about enabling progress but may find the actual applications of such ideas and thoughts challenging when it comes to doing it. This is also probably the reason why academics are often considered as “critical thinkers” but not “strong practitioners”.  In contemporary times, there also seems to exist a problem in assisting students to adjust to the workplace when they graduate from school. There’s been a common perception that students who graduate from tertiary institutions are able to better adjust to the workplace than their friends from academically-focused institutions. This is especially so when it comes to the application of theories. Hence, as educationists, I believe that we will need to place more focus on helping the students from every institution to be adept in this area.
  • Harsh towards others, lenient towards self: Zeng1 Guo2 Fan1 has also mentioned that academics tend to be lenient towards oneself but harsh towards others. While this may not speaks true of all academics, it is still sound advice for everyone. In fact, we should practice the opposite, which is to be harsh towards oneself and lenient (as well as forgiving towards others). When we are harsh towards ourselves, we self-reflect and draw lessons from our experiences. When we are lenient towards others, we gain the acceptance of others (although this should never the intention of our actions) and we create a positive environment around us.

Therefore, the abovementioned points are important for us to do well in the workplace and to get along well with others too. In fact, employers are now looking for employees who are able to not only turn a plan on paper into reality, they are also looking for a team player who is able to work well with others.

And the abovementioned points will enable us to achieve that.


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