All Posts Tagged With: "unprepared students"
Students need to be able to test out university
The worst-kept secret in academia is that students come to university with inadequate intellectual preparation. They don’t know the basics. They don’t know how to write. They’re not prepared for how much work it’s going to be.
So when professors like me see studies like this one which suggests that one of the main reasons for students dropping out is a lack of preparedness, well, let’s just say we’re not shocked. It’s nice to have the hard data, but still.
The real question is: what can be done? One answer might be to get secondary schools to do a better job of preparing students for university in the first place. Many of my students regularly report that their high school English classes, for instance, are not just lacking in challenge—they’re a joke.
Pettigrew tells would-be reformers to knock it off
Follow the news and commentary around teaching in higher education these days are you will soon come across the little rhyme in the middle of this passage by Robert Mendenhall:
When faculty serve as lecturers, holding scheduled classes for a prescribed number of weeks, the instruction takes place at the lecturers’ pace. For most students, this will be the wrong pace. Some will need to go more slowly; others will be able to move much faster. Competency-based learning shifts the role of the faculty from that of “a sage on the stage” to a “guide on the side.” Faculty members work with students, guiding learning, answering questions, leading discussions, and helping students synthesize and apply knowledge.
One sees this little gem everywhere. The “sage on the stage” is the bad old way; “guide on the side” is where it’s at! It is trotted out over and over again by those who fancy themselves innovators in education. They need to knock it off.