In the Basement of the Ivory Tower. #College #Unschooling #Education (via uberlearner)

The adjunct professor here tells us what happens when he flunks a majority of his students. –

What actually happens is that nothing happens. I feel no pressure from the colleges in either direction. My department chairpersons, on those rare occasions when I see them, are friendly, even warm. They don’t mention all those students who have failed my courses, and I don’t bring them up. There seems, as is often the case in colleges, to be a huge gulf between academia and reality. No one is thinking about the larger implications, let alone the morality, of admitting so many students to classes they cannot possibly pass. The colleges and the students and I are bobbing up and down in a great wave of societal forces—social optimism on a large scale, the sense of college as both a universal right and a need, financial necessity on the part of the colleges and the students alike, the desire to maintain high academic standards while admitting marginal students—that have coalesced into a mini-tsunami of difficulty. No one has drawn up the flowchart and seen that, although more-widespread college admission is a bonanza for the colleges and nice for the students and makes the entire United States of America feel rather pleased with itself, there is one point of irreconcilable conflict in the system, and that is the moment when the adjunct instructor, who by the nature of his job teaches the worst students, must ink the F on that first writing assignment.

I share some of these concerns. My persistent gripes about the “necessity” of policemen and firemen having to master college algebra is probably well known locally. A college education is appropriate in many fields but surely we can find a variety of mechanisms(of which a college education is a major choice but not the only choice) by which policemen and other municipal employees can be promoted.

James Pilant

In the Basement of the Ivory Tower. #College #Unschooling #Education The idea that a university education is for everyone is a destructive myth. An instructor at a “college of last resort” explains why.By Professor XJune 2008 Atlantic Magazine     I work part-time in the evenings as an adjunct instructor of English. I teach two courses, Introduction to College Writing (English 101) and Introduction to College Literature (English 102), at a small private college and at a community college. The … Read More

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