Saturday, March 12, 2011

After K12 comes college

I'm frankly of two minds on college. On one hand, I firmly believe in higher education and that a college education equips students with the knowledge and skills for a real career. It gives them some time and freedom to figure out who they are and what direction they want to proceed. This was my experience in college.

Yet today, I fear that colleges are generally failing to deliver the same intense academic experience and education that I received. With friends now who are university professors, I'm painfully aware how professors consider their time spent teaching or working with undergraduates as annoying wastes of time unrelated to their careers or real interests.  For professors, their career has to do with research.  They do not aspire to teach and their effectiveness or ineffectiveness as instructors is unrelated to their career.

I shudder to think about a whole generation of students going off to study at universities where the professors don't give a hoot about them.  Is this an overstatement? No, actually it's an understatement.  The current linking of colleges where teaching should be the priority and research centers is an absurdity. It serves only to hide the expenses of the researchers. I think it's long overdue to separate research institutes from undergraduate teaching institutes since students deserve our best effort, not an indifferent one.

Homeschoolers, with their pioneering rethinking of K12 education, I would hope would help rethink higher education too. This post is sponsored in part by Time4Learning, here's some details about their educational materials.
Curriculum Levels

3 comments:

  1. I agree with you that college professors should care about what they are teaching, and enjoy teaching their students. My favorite professor in college was my poetry professor. He lived and breathed poetry, and he had a heart for teaching.

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  2. I'm of the opinion that asking professors to teach undergraduates is overworking them. I think someone who have reached such academic excellence should be given ample of time to carry out research in order to add new knowledge in a given field of study.
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