06 December 2011

The duality of learning: the two roles of the "Teacher"

Recently I had to remind students of where the line of help lies. I help them learn, I don't train them to score marks. Specifically I got an email begging to be passed for some reason or another (not usual mind you). The student asked to be passed because I had been helpful in the classroom, so I should likewise help by awarding the passing grade.  The response went something like this:
Dear student: do not mistake my friendly smile, classroom patience, and simple explanations as "easy marking" - You might be shocked.

Most teachers have to do two things: TEACH and ASSESS.  They are not the same thing. 

The person who teaches is there to assist learning.  They are your friend, and it's their job to assist you get ahead in anyway they can. Your job is to get everything out of that person that you can.

The person who assesses is there to measure if learning has occurred. Their role is certification or assurance. They are not your friend, and it's their job to only allow those strong enough to pass.  You job is to demonstrate that you are good enough. (You are of course, aren't you?)

01 December 2011

Professor says: "Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Into Finance"

Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Into Finance
The above article is really quite an interesting article but I have to say I am very disappointed with the professor’s attitude towards his students. Possibly on of the one most important things to me is that all of my students are as successful as they possibly can be.  If that means making millions of dollars at investment banks then so be it.

You learn the science of money,
But don't go making your own"
It's very very important to me to make sure that everything that I teach in the classroom is somehow related to what the students will do somehow.  That might be immediately related in assessments or alternatively somehow to work practice into the future. To indulge in the belief that your area of expertise is far more important than your students well-being seems to me to be selfish in the extreme. By that, extremely arrogant also.

Don't tell me academics aren't selfish basteds sometimes.