Please read this, first– from the Chronicle of Higher Ed

http://chronicle.com/free/v53/i07/07a01001.htm?cch

Ing—taking the teach out of teaching 

The question now becomes, “What subject are you ing?”  
Having read about the recent trends in community college education, it appears
that the forecast for the future is now exactly what I began to predict, based
upon my own experiences, several years ago.  Educational institutions will be
designed along the lines of a business model, stressing efficiency in product
delivery, maximization of expected utility, while also employing tried and true
methods for enhancing customer satisfaction.  The president becomes the CEO, the
school board becomes the board of directors, the shareholders are now…… 

But, wait, who are the shareholders?  Who stands to gain
and in what ways with this, now, not so new, configuration? Presumably education
is about teaching and learning and the generic mission of a higher education
institution will read something like: Our mission is to provide our students
with opportunities for academic advancement, personal enrichment, and the
furtherance of individual goals
.  I have never personally encountered a
mission statement that even hints that there is, lurking in the background, a
cadre of shareholders expecting to make some sort of monetary—or other-profit.

Somehow it seems we have almost collectively decided that
in education efficiency is an inherent value and, one might guess, measured in
ways not alien to the corporate world.  Product delivery, zero defect
production, customer/client satisfaction, and any other quantifiables that apply
can be incorporated into the equation. Perhaps even the proverbial Six Sigma
guru can find a niche supervising adjunct faculty members in an efficient online
program where, at the top of the pyramid, are the select few who govern the
masses of part-timers whose likelihood of tenureship is tenuous, if not an
outright non-option.  The latter’s perceived value would appear to be no better
than that of a factotum, laboring under the privileged oligarchy, diligently
disseminating the “product’ to an eager public ready to consume math and
humanities in packages functionally resembling the timely parcels distributed by
the book-of-the-month club. 

This is to take the “teach” out of “teaching.”  

 

Advertisements