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Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by SLTF, Jun 13, 2006.
May be you went to the wrong school!
Yeah, it would be interesting to know what school he's complaining about.
i'm just glad i graduated from college over 40 years ago.
back then the same used book scam was going on -- i bought used books when i could -- but at least most of my professors were good teachers.
but i did go to a middle tier State College...
unfortunately there is validity behind both opposing opinions... i do believe that the value of my degree (as a new May 07 grad) is really not what I paid for. But I do also believe that your value in the workforce is based on your personality and skillls and what you can DO with this piece of paper, not what this piece of paper was supposed to have done for you already.... capisce?! I do believe going to college is worth it, though its a little lopsided in America. We pay too much for too little. BUT during my time abroad in Italy, I realized they get what they pay for and MORE! They pay less than half of what I do, even as an in state student... and their level of education FAR surpasses our american standards. They are strict, focused and school is most important in their culture. Maybe that's the difference. We have extracurriculars, summer jobs, activities, etc, and they don't. Though I don't think its wise to do away with those additives because I think they are valuable in augmenting our learning process, I do think we need to raise the level of what is expected from ourselves and what we expect from our teachers. But if we continue to be lazy (and I admit I was) and just slide by then we get what we want to pay for....
This is a really, really complex issue.
Let's just touch on the university system in Western Europe. Here's my experience from Spain, which is pretty much the same thing that I've heard from colleagues in Italy and France.
Their classes are a lot bigger for the most part, especially in the large city universities. Their majors leave little wiggle room for options, so they end up graduating hundreds of students each year having taken virtually the exact same courses. This is 1. intellectual in-breeding and 2. devastating to the creativity needed to advance entire fields.
You can't choose your professors for many required classes in many majors, so if you are put in Prof. X's class, you cannot get out of it. In this sense, irrational, unreasonable profs are never really held accountable.
They believe in failing X amount of students. A good professor is a "hard" professor. Never mind that it may be an indication that he/she isn't teaching the material.
I could go on and on and on.
But truly what differentiates the US system from other nations is that throughout the system, teachers are supposed to teach to everybody. In far too many countries, including Italy, tracking is the norm and the students that aren't "getting it" are tracked into the trade school route.