Re: How do we improve the education system?
I wholehearedly agree with Mimzy. As a college professor, I am in the thick of this. Over the last six years I have seen a drastic change in student attitudes that is very worrisome. First, and most frightening, is the change to passive learning. No longer do my students want to pursue knowledge, discuss issues or answer questions. I have taught for 22 years in an art department, where students were lively, curious, rebellious (in a good way) and imaginative. Now, these art students what step by step instructions on all projects, will not take risks or play, complain if they have to read or write and are outraged if they do not recieve an A for all of their less-than-satisfactory efforts. If they are challenged to rise to a higher quality of critical thinking skills and apply those skills in their artwork they become hostile. Their retribution is very vicious as they use anonymous evaluations to "get even." If they are confused or frustrated they place blame on the professor and do not hold themselves accountable for their performance.
This is not just a rant of one "tired, old professor"; this is a national problem and it is growing worse. I have studied this issue for three years and it's growing into a "hidden" crisis on every university. Many faculty have decided to dumb down their material in an effort to appease these students. So far I have refused to capitulate but each semester it becomes more difficult to tell myself that I have an ethical responsibility to prepare my students for the very competive and demanding graphic design profession. The comments on my anonymous evaluations as well as other professors are no longer confined to suggestions for improvement, dislike of course content or other relevant issues. They are now being used by students to commit unrestrained emotional slaughter on any professor who does not entertain them or coddle them.
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