A friend shared a link to an article today that I had a gut reaction to and I would like to share it here.
The article on the future of teaching and academe:
My 1st/unedited/unreflective/raw reaction:
I like the metaphor of online university professor as canary in a coal mine. Becoming a university professor these days for many (most?) seems more and more like working in dark, dangerous conditions away from the light of day, and that most likely have a negative impact on health and could lead to an early death while earning little. But the job pays benefits until you get fired.
Random thoughts upon reading the article…
What is the measurement that will help an administration decide to keep people each year, or not? In other words, what is the "data crunched" to make retention decisions.
How many students does each teacher have to respond to each week? What is that feedback supposed to look like? I am very curious to know how many hours per week Ms Caldwell invested and what her interaction with students looked like.
Are we perhaps making teaching more like bagging at the grocery store or working a cash register?
The article states that they are creating a “new” faculty position that focuses on “teaching”? I thought teaching was an important mission of universities, and their professors were meant to do that.
What does “teaching” mean to different parties? Surely it is more than passing along materials created by someone else and grading?
I wonder what Mr. LeBlanc’s definition of “good” salary and a pretty good job is? Surely he isn’t referring to $55,000 per year? I wonder what his salary is?
Perhaps a person is who allowed to work where their passion is gets enough compensation? Should/can we put a monetary value on joy?
Why might this become more typical? Whose interests does it best serve? The students? The teachers? The administration? Someone else?
Why does someone want to be a teacher these days?
It reminds me of a friend's sadness that he feels himself an architect, and a renderist. Here and now, he has no connection with the architecture being done today in the country we are living in... and no real, working professional connections to other countries he could or would live in. And... with the advent of Autocad, architects who produce fine quality handmade renderings no longer have any market.
Progress? Where do we go when it goes off in a different direction to the one we dream of?
Kate, 9 June 2014