“College, You’re a Liar!”

…Says the student who goes to college for the first time and realizes that it’s not as it seemed to be in high school. Because as it turns out, there are some things that the college aesthetic has led us astray without. In fact, on educause.edu, there’s a review from 2001 that reveals a lot of the “dirty little secrets” that higher education has. In this article, I will be reviewing what they claim are the five dirty little secrets that colleges harbor.

I can't see the difference between part time and full time instructors, can you? (photo by wikimedia)

I can’t see the difference between part time and full time instructors, can you? (photo by wikimedia)

#1. Being a Good Researcher Has No Correlation to Being a Good Teacher

One of the time-tested principles of psychology is simply that correlation does not equal causation. What does this mean? It means that although one can assume that being a good researcher means you’d be a good teacher, it doesn’t. You can be one or the other. Not that there’s anything wrong with research – or teaching – but these things can, in fact, be without each other. The thing is, as the article quotes,

“The process of getting a doctorate has never been about learning how to teach. Oh sure, most traditional doctoral programs require candidates to serve as teaching assistants, but that usually means little more than assigning them to classes.”

#2. Professors Have the Knowledge, Just Not Necessarily the Teaching Ability

Think about it. Why are they professors? Because they have extended knowledge on the discipline that they chose. That doesn’t mean they have any clue what it means to teach, and that doesn’t mean they care if you understand or not. In fact, they could care less. Either way they’re getting paid, and they’re publishing works on the information.

#3. Professors Don’t Know The Learning Process Either

Yes, of course, they had to learn and study when they were in school but think about it – if you have extended knowledge in an area, it’s easy to assume everyone else knows what you’re talking about. It’s easy to assume that they at least have the basics down – which may or may not be the case for some students in the room. Not only that, but courses are mainly taught through lectures. Which may not be one of the learning styles that you are comfortable with. I know it’s hard on me, because one of my strengths is not auditory learning.

#4. Part-Time Instructors Are Just as Valuable as Full-Time Instructors

These instructors lack loyalty to the institution, but that’s not a reason enough to say that they are not effective. They step in when full-time instructors won’t, for whatever reason. And they do a good job! It’s simply the fact that they are not full-time that they get a bad rep. If not for the economic advantage, most colleges would prefer to opt without them.

#5. The Carnegie Unit of Instruction Does Not Suffice for a Good Measurement of Time

The amount of time students spend with instructors is not measured accurately, simply because it was not meant to be a measurement of time. It’s a measurement for the amount of time the course is -keyword- scheduled! This is a common misconception.

Posted in Information

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *