Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

Education and Blame

Posted by litdaily on October 12, 2010

As readers may have noticed from previous posts, the state of academia is a topic that keeps coming up.  One of the reasons that it does is because we’re graduate students who participate wholly in that institution even as we are marginalized in it due to race, gender, and blah blah blah.

Regardless, one of the issues that I’ve noticed is that sites like Minding the Campus and Chronicle of Higher Education keep writing articles on education reform.  These articles are loosely based on the responsibility of the system to educate our children, the fears revolving around tenure, the lack of merit involving teachings without tenure, and the value of the arts.  If you scroll down this page, you’ll see that I’ve posted many of these on this blog.

But what concerns me here – as a teacher, a graduate student, a mother, and a citizen – is that there is a distinct and disturbing silence regarding the responsibility of the student to learn.  While all of those other elements matter, how do we “fix” the system if there are students who don’t respect education or educators, fail to show up to class and turn in assignments, are disruptive, and have an unearned sense of entitlement?  How will tenuring and not tenuring professors affect these students who seem to be the norm rather than the exception?

This is what I think: we don’t want to face the truth.  And the truth is that the future subjects of this country could care less about the arts or tenured faculty as long as they get their easy As, breeze through college either intoxicated or high, and get an entry level job at a company upon graduation.  I know that I am generalizing here, but semester after semester, I get a stream of students who just don’t really give a shit.  And then I read these journals who want to sugar-coat the truth by placing the blame on the system and educators.


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