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Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job

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posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 08:19 PM
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Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job


www.theglobeandmail.com

University of Ottawa professor Denis Rancourt announced to his students that he had already decided their marks: Everybody was getting an A+.

It was not his job, as he explained later, to rank their skills for future employers, or train them to be “information transfer machines,” regurgitating facts on demand. Released from the pressure to ace the test, they would become “scientists, not automatons,” he reasoned.
(visit the link for the full news article)



+2 more 
posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 08:19 PM
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At the end of the article he adds/reconfirms; “Grades poison the educational environment,” he insists. “We're training students to be obedient, and to try to read our minds, rather than being a catalyst for learning.” I couldn't agree with him more.

At a college level, i don't see where his ideas are out of step with most faculty. I'd suspect that his views on global warming being a myth and being an outspoken critic of “Israeli military aggression” more likely the reason behind the suspension.

www.theglobeandmail.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 08:21 PM
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This guy is good and I agree with him totally. KUDOS.



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 08:51 PM
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It's sad that he will be replaced by some random neocon idiot. that will teach the exact things he speaks out against.


I know some "automatons" they are complete idiots, no common sense at all. they can only repeat what they are told they cannot articulate there own thinking, soulless machines is what they emulate.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by Bringer]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 09:21 PM
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Starred and flagged!

I have become thoroughly disappointed in the institutions of "Higher Education" ever since I began working in the University system.

These pseudo-intellectual peacocks have lost the passion of teaching and seem increasingly devoted to making themselves more and more politically relevant, instead of passing down knowledge and the pursuit of wisdom for its own sake.

The only excellence found at these institutions comes from the exceptional students who arrive there driven by that passion, either given to them by a gifted High School teacher, or simple passion for a field of study. Half the time these 'professors' and their "TA's" kill that spirit the minute it interferes with there own agenda.

Archeology, Anthropology were the first I noticed plagued by this effect. is one of those fields most affected by this disease. But it even goes into the engineering and hard sciences, especially when driven by the Professors who all seem to have 'incubator' businesses making them rich.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by Maxmars]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 09:39 PM
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The education received from the University should not be used as professional credential. Otherwise, grades are a great indicator of how well you do compared to the rest of the class... if the reason you're going there is to actually learn, no strings attached.

Less people should go to University. I truly believe the large proportion of time spent in undergraduate studies isn't much of an investment as people claim it to be, unless of course they're going into more advanced professions. More people need to go to technical colleges. If these people leave, then those that remain won't be complaining about "boring" or "irrelevant" information. Make it more competitive, and kick out more people. Make it more exclusive. There should be another, equally viable opportunity for people that think learning is irrelevant. The University needs to specialize.

People should acquire a comprehensive tool set from the proposed "technical colleges" and then rough it out in the private sector, and learn their jobs and develop a career. Otherwise, Universities should be left for theoretics and more advanced study.

The reason he gave just wasn't good enough. He shouldn't even feel compelled to "prepare them for their future careers". The University should be used as a personal resource as ruthlessly as possible by all students that attend. By that nature, it should be competitive. Going to University isn't just a given.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by cognoscente]



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


Awesome, we need more educators like this guy. People who realize that boring lecture just doesn't cut it and that memorizing facts only to forget them ten minutes after the test doesn't help anyone. We need critical thinking and creativity just as much as we need simple facts and such...



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 03:30 AM
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The professor broke the rules.

The elite must make sure that only people that are obedient and can be controlled with rewards like money or good grades get to the top.

www.ascentofhumanity.com...



Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, familyless, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" is worth arguing about.




[edit on 7-2-2009 by pai mei]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:01 AM
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I am suprised at the people who think this guy did a good thing.

So lets say I want to be a lawyer. I am totally stupid but have the money for law school. So, according to this prof, I just pay the money and get all A's. I don't have to learn anything. No effort. Just pay the money. Cool.

Would you want a surgeon to operate on you that never had to learn anything, but he had the money to go to medical school ?

I worked my way thru grad school and have a great job. I actually learned alot thru hard studying. My teachers did not put a label on my future worth based on grades. They did their jobs and taught me what I was there to learn.

I suspect you people who applaud this professor are just high school grads or less.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by dirtonwater
 


Congratulations. I hope your sense of self-esteem is well served by your degree. I suppose that most 'degreed' people are working outside their field of study means nothing to you. Or perhaps it means that they are 'worthy'... is that what it's supposed to mean?

And all of us "lesser" types in your eyes and those of your peers should rightly be washing cars and cleaning up after you. Sure, that's it, right?

My point is not to allow the degree to be anything more than it is; a testimonial to the money you dumped into their pockets. And by the way, yes, MANY degreed people got that way via debt or family money... but then, that's the way it should be no?



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by dirtonwater
I am suprised at the people who think this guy did a good thing.

...
I suspect you people who applaud this professor are just high school grads or less.


I'm not surprised. This is ATS after all. Reasoning and experience is thrown out the window for "common sense" and speculation.

Grade curves are one thing, and letting you use "1 page of notes" is another - but giving everyone an A+ is ridiculous and dishonest.

... Then again, I used to think it was dishonest to use a calculator for math exams, lol.

People here would rather everything be completely egalitarian. Every time a garbage-man- turned-surgeon removes brain tumor and runs into a pickle, he can just ask google and/or post on a few forums for feedback.

If the patient dies, it was the ISPs fault and/or modem,router, windows, etc... etc...



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by dirtonwater


I worked my way thru grad school and have a great job. I actually learned alot thru hard studying. My teachers did not put a label on my future worth based on grades. They did their jobs and taught me what I was there to learn.

I suspect you people who applaud this professor are just high school grads or less.


Don't take this the wrong way dirt. If you are going to insult the intelligence of most ATSers, while at the same time spouting off that you have certain credentials, at least spell the word "Through" correctly. No this is not a personal attack, but if you are going to make semi personal attacks about the intelligence of people, at least come off spelling a simple word correctly.

[edit on 2/7/2009 by Finn1916]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:18 AM
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well im at U of T now and i totally agree with this professor,

everything im learning in class can be found on Wikipedia, and on top of that wiki probably has more detailed info

they dont teach us to think or know, they teach us how to get good on the tests and assignments, they teach us to be good little workers,

im actually trying as much as i did in high school (which isnt a lot at all) and im still getting whats considered average marks

the entire system is malformed, i agree that if i just automatically got an A+ there would be no incentive for me to go to class at all

but the current system makes me go, to learn nothing, to cram before tests, and then forget everything after the test is done

idk maybe its just people like me who feel like this, because the majority of other students i see enjoy being part of the working slave system that university is setting them up for,



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by dirtonwater
I am suprised at the people who think this guy did a good thing.

So lets say I want to be a lawyer. I am totally stupid but have the money for law school. So, according to this prof, I just pay the money and get all A's. I don't have to learn anything. No effort. Just pay the money. Cool.

Would you want a surgeon to operate on you that never had to learn anything, but he had the money to go to medical school ?

I worked my way thru grad school and have a great job. I actually learned alot thru hard studying. My teachers did not put a label on my future worth based on grades. They did their jobs and taught me what I was there to learn.

I suspect you people who applaud this professor are just high school grads or less.


If it was a bell-curve these marks would have no overall effect.

Most families with money send their young 'uns to decent establishments. If you're well-versed (excellent grades) in the field you wish to work in the door opens for you.

If mummy or daddy happen to know the CEO the doors will open anyway.

The finish line has nothing to do with money, however without money you cannot often enter the race.

I tend to agree that he wasn't fired purely for this one act. Bet it didn't help though...



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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I am not sure on how the teaching environment goes, but as a professor of his own class, doesn't he get to make the tests and such? If that being the case, why wouldn't he design a "test" that actually measures job like skills?

He says it is not his job to make information transferring machines, but by using his flawed tests and then giving them all A's, I do not see why some of you think of this man so highly.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by tankthinker
well im at U of T now and i totally agree with this professor,

everything im learning in class can be found on Wikipedia, and on top of that wiki probably has more detailed info

they dont teach us to think or know, they teach us how to get good on the tests and assignments, they teach us to be good little workers,

im actually trying as much as i did in high school (which isnt a lot at all) and im still getting whats considered average marks

the entire system is malformed, i agree that if i just automatically got an A+ there would be no incentive for me to go to class at all

but the current system makes me go, to learn nothing, to cram before tests, and then forget everything after the test is done

idk maybe its just people like me who feel like this, because the majority of other students i see enjoy being part of the working slave system that university is setting them up for,



Well now, that's not the educations systems fault. It's your own. If you're "barely trying" and "forgetting everything" then why are you blaming the university system when it's up to you to study enough to learn the material?

It's entirely up to you to retain the material. If you don't understand specific examples or explanations, it's up to you to ask questions and do more research. It's up to you to became a "scientist" as the professor is saying.

He's making more of a statement that students these days are becoming lazy and just going through the "barely trying" and "forgetting everything" motions like you are, just to get your degree - because you have to. YOU are the automaton he is talking about. YOU are the student who thinks he doesn't have to study and retain information because YOU think you can get it on WIKIPEDIA whenever YOU need it.

He's saying, "#, I might as well give these robots a friggin' A+, because whatever grade they make won't matter anyway! They are all just cramming and forgetting everything! They aren't scientists! They are just temporary information transfer machines who will forget whatever they learn here!"

Why should you're professors even BOTHER to grade your papers, tankthinkers?

They're just wasting their time on you! You're grade is irrelevant as you have poor study habits, barely try, and forget everything.

Anyway, it's doesn't have as much to do with the "education system" as it does with the "human brain system" and how we process information. Everyone knows that "cramming" before a big test is one way to "just get by" like you seem to be doing.

Cramming is the WHORE way to pass a test. It's selling yourself out intellectually and financially. No wonder you think university is a joke - You aren't even learning anything!

The problem is... it's that people like YOU and other AUTOMATONS think it's perfectly OKAY to be NULL LEARNERS - just to get your degree.

Of course, we all know this is why a Bachelors degree means less and less as time goes on due to all the little ROBOTIC AUTOMATONS "barely trying" and "just cramming". Employers are forced to assume that everyone with a B.S. is a nitwit who didn't even learn anything.

You are wasting your time. Drop out of University if you aren't going to learn anything. You're giving everyone else who tried, understood, and retained the material a bad name.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by logician magician

Originally posted by dirtonwater
I am suprised at the people who think this guy did a good thing.

...
I suspect you people who applaud this professor are just high school grads or less.



... Then again, I used to think it was dishonest to use a calculator for math exams, lol.






I thought of this before. The way I look at it though is that it just allows more complicated math to be implemented sooner which is a good thing, since there is a "time limit" on how long you can stay in school.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist

Originally posted by logician magician

Originally posted by dirtonwater
I am suprised at the people who think this guy did a good thing.

...
I suspect you people who applaud this professor are just high school grads or less.



... Then again, I used to think it was dishonest to use a calculator for math exams, lol.



I thought of this before. The way I look at it though is that it just allows more complicated math to be implemented sooner which is a good thing, since there is a "time limit" on how long you can stay in school.


Using a calculator to help you arrive at an answer is similar to using Google to help you arrive at an answer.

Ask the calculator; ask Google.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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Strange then that our employees who are college graduates are infinitely better than our non-college graduates.

It isn't just about the grades, it's about proving that you can stick at something for 4 years with the required level of commitment.

It's that lack of commitment that we most notice in our non college employees, not their poor grades.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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I apologize for my former post. In retrospect that was much too harsh a response and unmerited. Of course, as with all things, we speak of generalizations, and that can be a disservice to the genuinely true to life heroes that inhabit our world, and frankly, many of them have degrees they worked hard for.

But my rant was not really about people. It's about our values.

Is it not true that by the time you graduate, half of what you payed to learn is obsolete? (Could be an urban legend, but I read that somewhere..., just because someone may not hold a degree does not mean they can't or don't read.)

[edit on 7-2-2009 by Maxmars]



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