Probably the most traditional way of education is a teacher lecturing most of the time. However, a new idea seems to be more and more accepted which advocates students play a more important role in class. Personally, I would like to side with the latter approach because it not only lead students to master a specific knowledge well, but also teachs them how to learn as well as how to express opinions.
First of all, a student is better educated in a discussion class, in which they usually have a deeper impression and understanding of knowledge through active and positive communication. Since the formation and expression of an opinion on a specific topic calls for a recalling and summarizing of a wide range of knowledge, this course stimulates a deep level thinking which is greatly beneficial to the study of new things. Conversely, although a lecture may be informative, it is sometimes not so impressive. That is, students always have to spend lots of time reviewing the class notes afterwards to keep them in mind. This kind of course put more emphasis on the input part of study than the output part, so it is relatively not so balanced and efficient.
Second, students are more capable to learn by themselves if trained by a class which involves lots of exchanges of opinion. In order to have a strongly supported personal idea, students should do much preparation and self-education beforehand. They have to collect information from the Internet or libraries. This kind of self induced study is most beneficial for it lets students learn to learn. In fact, lecturers no longer exist after graduation, but learning will never stop. So, to learn effectly and efficiently by oneself is of great importance, and this can only be acquired in a discussion based class.
Finally, students learn how to make effective speeches when it comes to the learning approach that encourages students to participate in discussions. In order to catch other's full attention, a student must make his speech well illustrated and better organized, thus Communication skills are enhanced, which is so important that we may find it have a wide range of use, from job interviews to academic lectures. It is also a key to cooperation in scientific research as well. So a discussion class is just what we need.
In summary, of all the factors concerned above, we can draw the conclusion that a discussion class overwhelms a lecture in several ways. The discussion based education system teaches much more than a specific knowledge, it provides learning and communication skills as well.
I'm not sure how "new" the discussion-based style of teaching should be considered. In American pedagogy, that style has been advocated at least since the early 1900s, when John Dewey wrote his most influential texts. And, of course, Socrates taught that way, back in antiquity!
I'm assuming you've written this as an English proficiency practice test. For that purpose, it's fine, although you will want to watch out for overly wordy ways of saying what you mean to say. Try to state your ideas in as few words as possible. Also, watch out for a tendency to combine what ought to be two or more sentences into a single sentence.
When I took a TOEFL course in China the teacher told us to write complex sentences by combining two or more sentences together. They said that there was a E-rater in TOEFL and the longer the sentence the higher score...
After I'v posted a few essays on this forum I found people told me that my essays were wordy too. I thought wordy was good! I guess I was wrong.
My teachers do a lot of lecturing, especially in math and science. Because the students don't know as much about those courses as the teacher, class discussions would be slow and unproductive. In English and Social though, the teachers encourage class discussions after enough of the material was covered. This is how it has been for me since ever. I find that some teachers are naturally good at keeping the subject relatively interesting, but the monotonous drones are... not so much.
I used to think that wordy was good too, but I got docked big marks for it in high school. As long as you have good diction and your sentences don't contain so much fluff, it shouldn't be an issue. I think the reason why you were encouraged to use longer sentences was because it showed to professor that your English was good enough to do so.
You're right danielh. I think I will just focus on the basic sentence structure right now. I don't want to write long sentences that are full of mistakes.