mediocrity of teaching at high tuition universities
#1
Exclamation 
The item has been mentioned here often. Are traditional universities just a haven for politicking leftists? Hungry contractors eager to build the fifth indoor swimming pool? Sleazy coaches paid fortunes to teach Jethro and Rufus how to chase a ball?
What concerns me most, though, is the mediocrity of teaching imparted...and i am not referring here to any political bias.
Since itunes university, academicearth and other venues have made many courses from many traditional universities available for free, everybody can freely judge the quality of such courses.
I personally have followed many over the years.
As one who has been involved with learning over a long period, i can say that none was excellent; most were mediocre; quite a few were weird, sub-par or both.
The toss of coins that determined whether your course was to be just mediocre or even sub-par was the same whether Yale or Wallawalla community college was concerned.
The luck of the draw may be less important if all that's at stake are a few dollars to buy a copy -maybe used- of THE GREAT COURSES or THE TEACHING COMPANY products, whose average quality is much higher than the average at Yale or the like, as far as I could say.
It becomes paramount when one is paying a fortune and getting in debt for life to attend supposed platinum universities.
It's like the teenager who buys a pair of shoes to brag about...they are made in Vietnam, are crummy and uncomfortable but he paid them 299$ only to be hispals' envy.

A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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#2
(01-15-2012, 08:26 PM)ham Wrote: Are traditional universities just a haven for politicking leftists?

Yes.

(01-15-2012, 08:26 PM)ham Wrote: The toss of coins that determined whether your course was to be just mediocre or even sub-par was the same whether Yale or Wallawalla community college was concerned.

Yes. So why pay for Yale when the same or better is available at the local JC or state uni for 1/10th the price or less? Some people need a Cadillac to go grocery shopping, the rest of us do fine with a Ford. The more choices available the more people see that "RA" and "Quality" are not correlated concepts.
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#3
There is an old expression I heard many times: Those who cannot do teach. And its not entirely incorrect. Does anyone think that the best entrepreneurs are professors at business schools? Or what about the best artist, journalists, engineers, doctors etc etc etc...

People who are drawn towards teaching at a University level tend to be those looking for easy success. Academia works like this, get a degree, get a masters and then a PhD and latch on to a good school. Publish a few books (and use the slave labor of a few graduate assistants), get your tenure and voila you got it made! You can be the biggest dick on earth but with that tenure it does not matter. Go ahead and say that Stalin was a great leader or that Holocaust never happened (like a professor at Northwestern actually did), it does not matter.

I got tenure and you do not so fuck you!!! Smile
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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#4
The great Walter Williams explains today's education decline. Schools of education are "academic slums," failing due to "harebrained thinking, coupled with multicultural nonsense" aimed at students "lacking in academic skills."

Quote:Schools of Education
Walter E. Williams
Jan 25, 2012

Larry Sand's article "No Wonder Johnny (Still) Can't Read" -- written for The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, based in Raleigh, N.C. -- blames schools of education for the decline in America's education. Education professors drum into students that they should not "drill and kill" or be the "sage on the stage" but instead be the "guide on the side" who "facilitates student discovery." This kind of harebrained thinking, coupled with multicultural nonsense, explains today's education. During his teacher education, Sand says, "teachers-to-be were forced to learn about this ethnic group, that impoverished group, this sexually anomalous group, that under-represented group, etc. -- all under the rubric of 'Culturally Responsive Education.'"

Education majors are woefully lacking in academic skills. Here are some sample test questions for you to answer. Question 1: Which of the following is equal to a quarter-million? a) 40,000, b) 250,000, c) 2,500,000, d) 1/4,000,000 or e) 4/1,000,000. Question 2: Martin Luther King Jr. (insert the correct choice) for the poor of all races. a) spoke out passionately, b) spoke out passionate, c) did spoke out passionately, d) has spoke out passionately or e) had spoken out passionate. Question 3: What would you do if your student sprained an ankle? a) Put a Band-Aid on it, b) Ice it or c) Rinse it with water.

Guess whether these questions were on a sixth-grade, ninth-grade or 12th-grade test. I bet the average reader would guess that it's a sixth-grade test. Wrong. How about ninth-grade? Wrong again. You say, "OK, Williams, so they're 12th-grade test questions!" Still wrong. According to a Heartland Institute-published School Reform News (September 2001) article titled "Who Tells Teachers They Can Teach?", those test questions came from prospective teacher tests. The first two questions are samples from the Praxis I test for teachers, and the third is from the 1999 teacher certification test in Illinois. According to the Chicago Sun-Times (9/6/01), 5,243 Illinois teachers failed their teacher certification tests. The Chicago Sun-Times also reported, "One teacher failed 24 of 25 teacher tests -- including 11 of 12 Basic Skills tests and all 12 tests on teaching learning-disabled children." Yet that teacher was assigned to teach learning-disabled children in Chicago. Departments of education have solved the problem of teacher test failure. According to a New York Post story (11/14/11) titled "City teacher tests turn into E-ZPass," more than 99 percent of teachers pass.

Textbooks used in schools of education advocate sheer nonsense. A passage in Enid Lee et al.'s "Beyond Heroes and Holidays" reads: "We cannot afford to become so bogged down in grammar and spelling that we forget the whole story. ... The onslaught of antihuman practices that this nation and other nations are facing today: racism, and sexism, and the greed for money and human labor that disguises itself as 'globalization.'" Marilyn Burns' text "About Teaching Mathematics" reads, "There is no place for requiring students to practice tedious calculations that are more efficiently and accurately done by using calculators." "New Designs for Teaching and Learning," by Dennis Adams and Mary Hamm, says: "Content knowledge is not seen to be as important as possessing teaching skills and knowledge about the students being taught. ... Successful teachers understand the outside context of community, personal abilities, and feelings, while they establish an inside context or environment conducive to learning." That means it's no problem if a teacher can't figure out that a quarter-million is the same as 250,000. Harvey Daniels and Marilyn Bizar's text "Methods that Matter" reads, "Students can no longer be viewed as cognitive living rooms into which the furniture of knowledge is moved in and arranged by teachers, and teachers cannot invariably act as subject-matter experts." The authors add, "The main use of standardized tests in America is to justify the distribution of certain goodies to certain people."

Schools of education represent the academic slums of most any college. American education can benefit from slum removal.

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#5
Walter Williams Wrote:Education majors are woefully lacking in academic skills.

This is discussed further in another thread, but I couldn't help but notice this unfortunate lady fit the "education major" profile described in Williams' article.

Quote:Negative Experience (1 review)
1/21/2012

I am an education major at Grand Canyon U. Is that the short classes give you no time to set up observations in a timly manor. The councilers tell you that you have a list of over 10 to 15 options of observing a public, priviate, schools and tutoring services. The class requirements and teacher says it must be a title one school. Public Title one schools in my city would take as long or longer as your class last. this puts you in a bind becasue even if the teacher gives you and incomplete and gives you more time, your next class starts and it has observation requirements too.

This consumer had a NEGATIVE experience with this business.

by Jill S. on 1/21/2012 | Submit a Comment
http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/Business-Revi...r-reviews/
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#6
Quote:I am an education major at Grand Canyon U. Is that the short classes give you no time to set up observations in a timly manor. The councilers tell you that you have a list of over 10 to 15 options of observing a public, priviate, schools and tutoring services. The class requirements and teacher says it must be a title one school. Public Title one schools in my city would take as long or longer as your class last. this puts you in a bind becasue even if the teacher gives you and incomplete and gives you more time, your next class starts and it has observation requirements too.

That's American English, rait?
A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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