How to Destroy Education (And a Nation)

Woman teaching geometry, from Euclid's Elements.

Woman teaching geometry, from Euclid’s Elements. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Instead of having instructors rate the scholastic achievements of their students according to effort and ability, rate the performance of instructors by how many of their students pass the class (or a standardized test). Alternatively, rate the performance of teachers by how entertaining their students find them to be.
  2. Turn student assessments over to the same corporation that prepares your textbooks and classroom resources.
  3. Expand online classes and purchase instructional modules prepared by the same corporation.
  4. Use instructional modules for both online and classroom lectures, reducing teaching to rote repetition of corporate-sponsored material.
  5. Tell instructors that the lecture is dead and should be replaced with professionally prepared audio and video materials, conveniently provided by corporate textbook publisher/testing service.
  6. Have students rate professors’ “effectiveness” as teachers.  A study by Scott Carrell and James West found that “student evaluations reward professors who increase achievement in the contemporaneous course being taught, not those who increase deep learning.”
  7. By judging teachers on student success, ensure that teachers at the most selective schools are judged to be the best teachers.
  8. Promote best practices for teaching that are based on the success of teachers at the most selective schools.
  9. Ensure that teachers fear retaliation if sufficient students do not pass their classes. Establish a quota for passing grades.
  10. Give students the impression that they will pass the class no matter how little work they do (see previous). A blog post by Richard Vedder notes that a National Bureau of Economic Research study by Philip Babcock and Mindy Marks found that “In 1961, the average student spent 40 hours a week engaged in their studies—attending class and studying. By 2003, this had declined by nearly one-third to 27 hours weekly.” Probably gotten worse since 2003. Students are doing less and less work while simultaneously being rewarded with better grades.
  11. Cut funding for education, forcing colleges to seek “public-private partnerships,” which enable corporations to determine the educational objectives of the college.
  12. Have adjuncts teach most of your classes with low pay and no benefits.

About ethicsbeyondcompliance

I hold a PhD in medical humanities with an major emphasis in ethics. I began teaching college-level ethics in 2000.
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