reply to post by Me2Earth
Welcome to ATS.
As a retired professor, let me give you my view regarding some of your points.
First, let me, in full disclosure, let you know that I taught in the College of Business at my college, so I guess that makes me a capitalist! LOL!
One of the things I learned about Academia (I spent the largest portion of my working life in the business world), is that:
1.) Some professors are full of themselves, and just think that they know it all, when in actuality, many of them would never make it in the real
2.) If you get 10 academics in the same room, you will have at least 12 different views on the same subject (a couple of them are schizophrenic).
3.) Some of them are not interested in what YOU have to say, they only like to hear themselves talk.
4.) Some of them are literally only a day or two ahead of the material that they present, and have never had any practical application of that
5.) Some of them spout rubbish for shock value. Maybe it is to get you to think, or maybe it isn't, but if the student isn't aware of the intent,
harm can be done.
6.) Many professors are very good at getting students to learn, they know their subject quite well, they avoid trying to push their opinions on
students, they try to help students grow in their field of studies, and they foster original thinking on the part of the student.
The key is to try to find those good professors, and avoid the "bad" ones.
One way is ratemyprofessors.com or other similar websites. A second way is to talk to students ahead of you in your field, and see who they feel is
worthwhile to take.
By the way, many professors scream at the thought of sites such as ratemyprofessors.com, but the good ones usually aren't against them, because
students are usually pretty honest about their thoughts. I would occasionally check my own ratings, because I wanted to see if there was anything that
I might be doing that was annoying to students. Yes, you do get the occasional student that isn't happy with their grade, but most of the time, the
criticisms and praises were right on.
Now, a college or university is supposed to be where you are encouraged to think, not parrot what some eccentric professor believes. Professors that
try to shove their OPINIONS down your throat are running contrary to the purpose of a liberal education.
The liberal arts are traditionally intended to develop the faculties of the human mind, those powers of intelligence and imagination without which
no intellectual work can be accomplished. Liberal education is not tied to certain academic subjects, such as philosophy, history, literature,
music, art, and other so-called "humanities." In the liberal-arts tradition, scientific disciplines, such as mathematics and physics, are considered
equally liberal, that is, equally able to develop the powers of the mind.
In the US, studies show that approximately 90% of the faculty are considered liberal or very liberal, while about 10% are considered conservative or
very conservative. In my department, it was more 50-50, but that was due to the discipline- business and management.
You still learned a valuable lesson, because the close-minded profs that you had exposed you to what you will also encounter in the real world.
Sites like ATS is a microcosm of the world, although, admittedly, skewed toward the passionate nature of opinion.
Don't be afraid to respectfully challenge a professor with carefully thought out arguments. Try to do it without embarrassing him/her in class. That
is a no-win for you. Perhaps after class, if you/prof have time, ask if you could discuss the issue with the prof. Ask to meet the prof at his/her
office hours to discuss the issue. They can't turn you down, because they have to post and keep office hours. If they don't keep the hours, don't
be afraid to go to the dean's office and ask where the prof is, and let the dean know that you were at the profs' office, and no one was there. If
they had to cancel hours, they usually have to tell a department secretary or assistant, and reschedule hours.
Remember, in college, YOU are the customer, and if you aren't getting the service your tuition deserves, let someone know. One thing administrations
do NOT like is getting a bad reputation with students, because they understand that students go back and tell their friends. Eventually enrollment
drops, and that is not a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say.
I wish you luck. Keep the faith.