Archive for December, 2011

Teachers who don’t teach

It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged, and I feel a bit rusty. But anyway…

I have a professor who splits up the class into groups, assigns topics, and lets us do all the reporting. I have a few problems with this.

I haven’t quite understood the concept of teachers who don’t teach. It seems almost oxymoronic in nature. Okay, fine. The professor does teach as well; just, barely. But this manner of teaching begs the question, why do we even have a teacher in the first place? If we’ll be doing all the research and all the teaching anyway, why do we need a teacher in the first place? The role of the teacher becomes limited to that of an assessor and evaluator–all we’ll really need him/her for is to give tests and grades. Do you really need to hire someone with a masters degree to do that?

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think reports are a bad means of getting a grade. In fact, I think they’re an essential part of every class. I think that researching is a valuable skill that is highlighted in reports. However, reports should only serve as a supplement to give added information to the things that the professor teaches. They should reinforce current lessons, not replace them. My problem with a let-the-students-teach approach is that the ability of students to grasp a certain concept is dependent on the ability of the reporters to teach. Not everyone can report well; why let the class suffer for one student’s incapability?

It’s disappointing how the best university in the country would allow professors to “teach” in this way. Teachers tell students off for being too lazy to read, too lazy to study, or too lazy to do their projects. I think it’s about time that we tell them off for being too lazy to teach.