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Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job

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posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:58 PM

Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
I do not see how learning to program, speak foreign languages, do calculus, does not help you think on a general level.

Learning calculus does help the mental processes. Doing the two hours of homework a night that comes with the class, well that really doesn't at all.

There are times where random work is thrown in the schedule. Other times, they just tell you to study.

And that's time of mine well wasted.

The main thing I fail to see about you is how does being in the minority prevent you to do class work and homework? If you were smart enough to get great grades on the tests, I fail to see why you wouldn't spend the little time it takes to do the "useless" work that is easy enough? My perception of that is just laziness.

It doesn't prevent me from doing homework and classwork, it is just an utter waste of a LARGE amount of time. For some reason, "advanced" classes aren't much harder than the regular classes, they just have 4 times as much classwork and homework. I know this to be true.

Lets see, hour for advanced calc homework, hour for AP American history. Two hours for AP lit, because that is a great deal of writing. Another hour or so for AP physics. Yeah, that was a great way to spend 5 hours of time, when I could have read all the reading material in about and hour and a half, taken a test the next day, and saved 3 1/2 hours or so, to do more constructive things.

And before you go "most people would spend that time watching TV, etc. etc." I spent hours a day after school at the local library. Anytime a teacher was out or they simply assigned busy work, I went to the schools library.

I may not spend 100% of my time learning, but if I'm going to spend it on learning, I better be learning something NEW.

I know plenty of kids in the same field. Having a high "IQ" does not mean one is willing to do the work either. Now, I am far from the business world, but pushing the class work and homework to the side during school just seems like you did not care at all?

Reading comprehension part 2. I never said having a high IQ means you are willing to do tedious work. But hey, having a high IQ does mean you aren't willing to do pointless work. It is inefficient and pointless work.

I am not going to waste my time, and spend the years of my life when my ability to learn new material is at its peak, reading the same BS 5 times over again. I am going to utilize the time I have, while I still can, to learn new material. By age 30, your ability to learn new material starts to decrease dramatically. I am not going to waste countless hours of my life doing pointless work, just so I can get a grade of approval from the system.

Try to be a little more ambitious, will you?

If you were so smart why wouldn't you just do the useless work instead of being a rebel which leads you to a stone wall? I guess I would consider myself in the group where repetition does not help me learn at all also - but even then I still do the work (and complain).

Because I am not going to slow myself down for a system based on generalizations and bad logic. Everyone has their own reason to go to school. For you it sounds like, either you really want a good paying job, solely for the money, or you know exactly what you want to be, and realize that the only way to get to that spot is to do the pointless work.

I have no idea what I want to do with my life. If I knew what I wanted, I would have a reason to do the pointless nothing work. It would be a means to an end. But I don't know what I want, so there is no reason to waste time doing it. Why do the unnecessary means, if you don't yet have an end to meet.

I don't know what I want, or where I want to be, but I do know that when I do figure it out, I want to be as prepared as possible to go at it head first. I am ambitious enough that I am not worried about not being able to achieve my goal when I figure it out, the issue is figuring it out.

I am not going to commit to something, for no other reason than it is what society tells me is right. I will commit to something if I know it is what I want.

I think I see what you are trying to say but of course the school system was built for the majority - there are hundreds and thousands of kids going to school. I fail seeing how being in the "minority" prevents you from doing this useless work that would only benefit you in the long run (better college, better grades, better work POSSIBLY - if you chose to).

It isn't about preventing me from doing the useless work. It is about falling into mediocrity because you were too busy being busy to really excel. Your ability to learn new material dies much sooner than your body.

I have no concern with going to a better college, unless they have better professors that can teach me something I can't read in some book.

That is what this professor is. He is a professor trying to teach these kids stuff they can't read in some book. THAT should be what these classes are about. I can go to Princeton U. Library and read all the same material students read in the classes. The only difference is a professor. If that professor isn't providing me with something outside that text book, there is no reason to go to that class.

I could care less about grades. They literally mean nothing, and high school proved that to me.

As far as a job, there is no such thing as a better job, only a job you want to do, and a job you don't want to do. I aim for a job I want to do, regardless of pay.

So I fail to see your point.

Yes, you do.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by grimreaper797]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 06:08 PM

Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist

I do not like "tedious" work. It IS there for the general mass. It would be to hard to make certain students exempt from homework and such though while others have to do it. Usually, all of that is laid out on the teachers hands.

Make them all exempt. It is the responsibility of the student, not the teacher, to find the best method of learning. The teacher is there to help the process, but a teacher cannot go "you, you are good at visualized learning. You there, you are good at auditory learning." It is up to the students to figure out what way makes it easiest for them to learn, and use it. If not the students, then the parents. If the parents don't care, it is the students responsibility to seek out a teachers help in designing a way to best benefit them.

Laziness is not saying "this work does not benefit me" and not doing it. Laziness is not caring enough to learn your own individual learning habits and utilizing them to the best of your ability. That is lazy.

A teacher can help you discover which way you learn best, but only you can utilize that method and information. How well you do that determines how lazy or motivated you are. I'm uncommitted, not lazy. I'm not a rebel, I just know following the system means not following my best method of learning.

Have everyone exempt from homework, and you will find out who is lazy and who is determined to learn.

I do a have question though. How would that work in a math environment? In that - its either you know it or you don't. You think a students that knows it just enough to pass should pass on the same level as someone who is a master? What if they are already in the "most advanced" class? I think the letter grading system awards students who perform better. Give or take.

How far can you get before you fail. Simple as that. A master will make it much farther than somebody who is just getting by. As the work gets harder, the master will continue to do well, while the guy that just got by, won't be getting by anymore.

It is the best way to gauge somebodies ability. The point at which they fail to proficiently learn the material.

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by The All Seeing I

I think some forget we are talking about human children here. Yes, I am old enough to call college students children.

If there were no grading system, young people would take the path of least resistance and leave at the end without an education. In a theoretical world the concept of no grades is a wonderful idea, but we do not live in that world.

No grades means no tests and no reason to study outside the classroom. We in fact gain more of our knowledge outside the class due to tests and grades than we do inside the classroom.

You would think a person competent enough to teach would know that.

Why is it I get the feeling that those who agree are either students, very young or have spent their whole lives in a school environment and have never experienced the real world? Professors are by their nature immature in many cases, having never had the normal maturing experiences the rest of us face. To make that fact doubly bad, they are not aware of it themselves. Many never leave school until they retire. It leaves them Socially and Practically Retarded.

[edit on 2/7/2009 by Blaine91555]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 06:23 PM
Obviously the educational system is little more than a vetting process for weeding out those who are untrainable.

While it is true that some minimum level of intelligence is required to get through school, someone of average intellingence who learns the art of telling the professors what they want to hear better than someone who is far more intelligent will be more successful than their more intelligent counterpart.

Does that simply mean that the person with lessr intelligence who does better than somebody with greater intelligence is actually smarter?

Let's not go there.

All I am saying is that the educational system is really just a big filtering process which weeds out those that demonstrate either their lack of ability or lack of willingness to fit in.

That's it in a nutshell.

Education has almost nothing to do with advancing the pursuit of human knowledge. It is simply about promoting individuals who have no problem with maintaining the status quo.

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 06:28 PM
reply to post by Blaine91555

That, or the fact you haven't been in school recently. Now, I'm not old enough to call college students children, so I don't know what school was like back when you were a child as well. What I am willing to bet is that it was not the same educational system as it is today.

I wager this bet because the proficiency of our schools, on a world scale, have dropped dramatically, and continue to drop. It isn't biological. We have just as much capability back then as we do now, so what is the difference. Some will say parenting, and I would agree. Some would say society, and I would agree. Some would say the school system itself, and although I cannot say with certainty, I would like to agree.

If the school system is the same way it is today as it was 50 years ago, I can only reason that your parents must have been excellent teachers.

I have learned much more out of school than in it. That is a problem in my eyes. There is 0 reason our schools should not be the best in the world, we certainly have the funding to do it.

We either lack in method, or in practice. I think it is a bit of both. I think our methods are obsolete for progression, and our practice is a failure because parents don't do their job, the teachers don't do their job, and society doesn't give a damn, so long as these kids are bugging their parents to buy the next home entertainment system to come out on the market.

Society, parents, and the system, I think they are all reasons why our educational system simply cannot keep up with the pace required to further this nation.

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:05 PM
reply to post by grimreaper797

There are individual education plans for people in your situation. Universities do their best to respect them.

Here's one example I pulled off the Internet at random:

An IEP must be developed for every student who has been identified as an "exceptional pupil" by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC), in accordance with Regulation 181/98.

If you are identified as being exceptional and above average in some regard, yet you are failing your classes for reasons, which can not be attributed to behavioral, intellectual or physical impairments, then the schools are required by law to identify you and offer you these programs. If you were not aware of that, then I'm truly sorry. If your school didn't bother complying with state legislation, had it existed, then it looks like you truly lost out on a good education.

These programs exist extensively throughout Canada. A friend of mine was placed on it, and he's still using it to his advantage in University, and pulling off excellent grades.

There are whole organizations dedicated to improving the quality of education that each individual receives. The programs are evolving and they are very effective. Depending where you live you might not have access to something like this. I definitely can't see this working in California and many places in the United States. Of course, I do live in one of the most liberal, welfare oriented parts of the world.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by cognoscente]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:14 PM
I think the professor is just lazy. Evaluating students' progress is an important part of the job, but giving tests and grading papers is very time-consuming and sometimes tedious. The most difficult papers to honestly evaluate are those that require the student to actually think about their ideas and not just regurtgitate information, and there are many such papers usually required in an undergraduate curriculum. To grade these papers requires intellectual effort on the part of the teacher, and the ability to communicate effectively with the student, so that he or she really understands why they are getting the grades they are getting and what they can do to improve them. For the teacher, that means serious thought and work.

Among the courses I have taught to undergraduates is composition. That's a subject that very few students resist taking, because almost everyone recognizes the need to communicate effectively in writing. The only way to learn to write is by writing. A certain amount of information can be obtained through textbooks and in the classroom, but the lion's share of the learning takes place as the students actually write--a lot. The more one writes the better one gets at it. There is no shortcut to this. Class time is usually spent sharing one's work with the rest of the class and getting suggestions from fellow students and the teacher, and the rest of the work takes place at home or the dorm or the library.

Teaching this course is always very labor intensive. One cannot just slap a grade on it and be done with it. The teacher must communicate both what is strong in a paper and what could use improvement, and point the way to revision. I always allow students to revise their papers until they reach a grade they are satisfied with. Some papers will never be A papers, though, and the teacher must communicate why that is as well. It takes me about one hour to read and comment on each composition that I receive, and there are at least 100 students per semester. I also hold individual conferences with students several times in the course. I am paid well, but still not paid enough for the labor required in the course. That is what is is required to teach effectively.

This professor strikes me as one who may have gone straight from college to teaching without "real world" experience in between. He may remember his own college experience and agree with the students on the futility of many assignments( not remembering that he himself may have been one of those learners who will learn no matter how they are taught) and he may just want to be popular in the classroom. Students will no doubt love him for giving them A pluses and not requiring any work. Some professors just want to talk about what they are interested in and not bother with evaluation or testing or other time-consuming activities associated with teaching.

He could, conceivably, be a brilliant teacher but I think he just sounds narcissistic and lazy.

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by The All Seeing I

I think this professor's position on grades is ridiculous, and I'm baffled why so many seem to support his view.

I'm reminded of this recent editorial: How Dr. Spock destroyed America.

Read it, because I think it's dead on...


[edit on 7-2-2009 by loam]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:18 PM
reply to post by cognoscente

I live in NJ, and as far as I am aware, they only cater to special needs, but I am not considered a special needs student. (special needs= mentally disabled).

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:24 PM
reply to post by grimreaper797

That really sucks. I know you don't have to have special needs to be placed in the programs we have up here. Nevertheless, to get in someone really has to make a compelling case on your behalf. My bud's teacher took a lot of her personal time to get this working for him. He says it makes him feel kind of stupid, but he's not complaining when he's bagging the grades, and is dominating his classmates on the standardized exams.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by cognoscente]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:15 PM
What an awesome professor. If all my classes gave me A's, I would ironically be more motivated to study more. Not only are grades not analogous to one's mastery of the material, they are counter productive. I get seriously anxious and depressed, thinking about the swinging scythe above my head that is the grading system. It often drives me to want to do other things that I enjoy, rather than learning something which I want to do for a living.

Don't even get me started on college. Man, what a joke. Coming from an amazing private school that actually TAUGHT me something, I now find myself just taking classes in college to get the credit. Nearly every Humanities class I've taken has been interested in teaching me ONLY fringe topics that are politically correct, like woman's role in 1950's media, the economic status of Mexican immigrants during the Great Depression, and so on. I'm for learning these things, but when it becomes the central focus of the class, and it's not outlined in the course description, I have a problem with it. College has become a propaganda center, not a educational institution.

What do grades accomplish, really? It's just a Masonic system. It's a tiered system, whereupon you climb the "grades" until you reach the capstone and enjoy the company of the psychopath elites. That graduation cap you're wearing? Hate to break it to you, but that represents your mind has been shaped into a "square" rather than a pleasing circle, and the tassel represents a flaccid penis to represent your completed indoctrination and suppressed mind. I wish I could just educate myself and get a job.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by Viral]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:38 PM
I can see where many of you are coming from who embrace grades as a necessary evil. How i receive the professor's proposal is one in shifting the incentive away from a shallow measuring tool to one of motivation raised out of a focus on the highest purpose of the profession/inquiry.

For instance, purpose or point of his physics class is to think/be like a scientist. What is a scientist's motivation? problem solve for the benefit of a better world... but as we already know a lot of science is unfortunately pursued in the name of selfish interests commerce/power/greed.

In sum, grades/money are a form of motivation based on fear/ego, by removing this superficial catalyst students and teachers are freed up to solved the problems that plague our world.

Obviously this is easier said then done, collectively we have to turn our values/priorities around 180 degrees. But before we can even take the first step forward for all generations to come... we have to deprogram the self-imposed brainwashing of our own.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:14 PM
reply to post by Blaine91555

Couldn't agree with you more. Being a college student myself, if that guy was my prof. I probably wouldn't even go to class or even pay attention, I find school to be tedious and repetitive. Everyone I've talked to is just trying to "get by" and not doing what truly excites them in life. Getting a degree is just the norm for everyone and highschool hammers it into kids minds that if they don't graduate with a degree they won't have money, which in part is true I suppose. Also, most of the courses are BS and all use usefulness is related directly to the teacher, if you get some boring broken english speaking math professor chances are you wont learn/ understand/ care about succeeding. Idk... the system (like every other) just doesn't work but it probably wont change anytime soon.

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 01:51 AM
First post... w00t.

eh, screw it. My brain is too scattered to make a point anyway!

[edit on 8-2-2009 by luvs2spooge]

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 08:37 AM

Originally posted by visible_villain
All I am saying is that the educational system is really just a big filtering process which weeds out those that demonstrate either their lack of ability or lack of willingness to fit in.

That's it in a nutshell.

Education has almost nothing to do with advancing the pursuit of human knowledge. It is simply about promoting individuals who have no problem with maintaining the status quo.

As you put it a person with lesser intelligence who does better in society than somebody with greater intelligence is not actually a sign of being "smarter".

For instance, we could look to our own ATSvilla as evidence. How many times have you come across a dimwit narrow-minded fool with 100K points, some fancy title/position and then a brilliant insightful poster who is in the minus digits with multiple warnings? I come across such examples on a weekly basis.

Looking at ATS "grade" system as a parallel, it discourages dissent and encourages conformity... just as in education and society we find the some of the most decorated and well to do individuals in terms of gpa and bank... the sycophants of their occupation/vocation/sport/study.

[edit on 8-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 03:17 PM
reply to post by The All Seeing I

[Grading] discourages dissent and encourages conformity...

What more can I say. Your quotation above just about covers it.

That's how things seems to work. And when you think about it - how else do you keep a nation of 300-million, like America, from degenerating into chaos unless the system does a lot of this 'encouraging conformity?'

All human society since history began have 'discouraged dissent' as far as I know.

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 05:07 PM

Originally posted by Bringer
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]

I hardly doubt he will be replaced by some "random Neocon" personally. I think you would find that a majority of college faculty are more liberal then conservative. Just my thoughts on the situation.

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 05:19 PM
You know I think if it werne't for the tidbit about him criticisimg Israel I think most members of the board would be up in arms about him lowering the bar for education.

I disagree with this, letter grades should and do matter. I do not like to see course content "dumbed down" either because students consistantly score low or because faculty/students believe that it is unfair to "judge" students based on their academic performance.

Maybe I missed something but I thought that was the point of going to school? To learn material and then study so that you can do the best you can in the course?

This reminds me of the professor that was supposed to be fired for calling 9/11 families Nazis but was actually canned for plagerism. Reading the article it said that the guy consistantly went against University policy and changed course content without oversight from his coworkers.

To me he sounds like the kind of guy who is politically outspoken but really does not have a good context of how to put that into practice. Activism is great, don't get me wrong, but it seems like her he is almost setting himself up to be a martyr.

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 06:02 PM

Originally posted by asmeone2
Maybe I missed something but I thought that was the point of going to school? To learn material and then study so that you can do the best you can in the course?

Bolding mine because I think that is a poor misconception about why we are in school. School isn't about studying. Studying, is a means to an end. For SOME PEOPLE the only way to learn the material, is to study. I am not one of those people. Studying is simply a waste of time for me. I did an experiment in highschool where I would study like hell for one test, then not study at all for the next one. I did that for 6 chapters, thus 3 with no studying and 3 with.

My scores were 92 (studying), 94 (no studying), 97 (studying) 93(no studying), 93 (studying) and 98 (no studying).

On every one of those tests, the questions I got wrong (when I got a multiple choice question wrong) was a stupid mistake, or an error in my understanding of the question itself. The other part was spelling errors on the open ended questions.

I honestly don't believe after school work should be a requirement for a good grade. After school work was meant to help the kids better remember the material, not prove that they are willing to do pointless tedious hours of work when they don't need to.

Unless you are aiming for school to be a measurement of how willing you are to be a drone, doing mindless work, rather than ambitious continuous learning, this is all sorts of wrong.

posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 06:05 PM
for professor Denis Rancourt

humans-when they start achieving progress, they just turn their back to start looking to the ...wrong direction.

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