Students aren’t engaged
Nowadays, academics are labeled with all sorts of names and titles. Some say school is brainwashing young people, others say school is essential to living a happy life. School is what one makes of it, good or bad.
However, one thing is for certain: in a hostile-growing society (especially with the 2020 presidential election closing in), teachers need to do better. Students need to be engaged more and class content must be portrayed differently.
College professors talk too much. Students often find themselves in classes with professors who talk for entire class periods. Professors cannot expect students to sit quietly in a lecture for hours at a time or even 50 minutes.
To support this point, attention deficit disorder (ADHD) has been increasing over the past 20 years. Students’ attention spans are decreasing due to an increase in entertainment services. More often times than not students are spotted in class with smartphones, tablets, and laptops… all devices with an abundance of entertainment services.
Of course, you might say, “simply raise your hand.” However, teachers are often clustering information within a single class period, teaching at tempos that discourage the pausing of class for questions. Take a boring lecture and mix it with students who have access to phones, laptops and tablets, and one is left with a disaster.
You could argue, “Do not bring a phone to class,” which is true, but unrealistic for the mass majority. Many students believe phones are a necessity.
You could also argue, “take notes outside of class in order to understand the content being taught.” This points to two problems. First, suppose you must read the book to grasp the class content. Then, by this logic, you shouldn’t be required to attend class let alone pay hundreds of dollars for a teacher, when the book, already costing hundreds of dollars, can be seen as a teacher itself.
Secondly, if you were to take lecture notes outside of class, then you would expect to attend class by engaging what has already been studied. A boring teacher does not reinforce this.
The class sizes are too big. Teachers do not know their students on a first-name basis. One important component of teaching is a common understanding between teachers and students. A student is supposed to feel like the professor is speaking directly to them rather than just reading off of a power-point.
To reiterate a past point, a book can be seen as a teacher, why pay for both? This is not to say teachers or books should be abolished, but to say that teachers need to do a better job of reiterating what the book is saying, rather than teaching the class with word-for-word quotes from the required text.
Large lectures are not fair to teachers either, stripping professors of class discussions, field trips and more. Larger class sizes make students less focused on, leading to a decrease in attention and engagement. Without engagement, it is hard to pay attention to. As class sizes increase, there will be less of an ethical obligation to “show up” to class, whether physically or mentally.
Teachers need to do better. Knowledge is not just black and white, it is colorful, creative, and filled with emotions. Knowledge is perspective; knowledge is power. Now, more than ever is the need for knowledge. The need for students to understand things.
Teachers must find a way to attract students to learning. Students are not to blame for a professor who is not engaging. Teaching is supposed to be vivid and filled with imagery. Knowledge is supposed to intrigue students; knowledge is supposed to be fun. A book does not experience emotions as a professor does, so what a professor has the ability to do, a book does not. A required text may be boring, but a teacher should not be.