Skip to comments.Academics behind Knowledge Curve
Posted on 03/14/2014 7:17:51 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
When professors attempt to show that they are up on current events, they might prove just the opposite. Some of the data gathering assignment will be impossible to complete until the Republican/TEA Party controlled House of Representatives agrees to fund the government, assistant geography professor Rachel Slocum wrote in an e-mail to her students last October. The Census website, for example, is closed. It should have occurred to her that a website can remain open even if the office it is attached to closes: Ours is open even when we are not, for example.
Slocum teaches at the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. As it happens, one of those students, Katie Johnson, was taking the course while interning with the conservative Americans for Tax Reform in Washington. Johnson tweeted, Cant do homework for class; govt. shutdown. So my prof. blames Republicans in an e-mail blast.
I didnt think that was so partisaneveryone knows its the House that is causing trouble, Slocum stated, although students probably dont get much news.
Personally, she regarded it as an accurate summary of news developments based on mainstream media coverage, Peter Schmidt wrote in The Chronicle Review in an article from which the above information is derived.
In fairness to Slocum, no less a luminary than the actual Republican Speaker of the House repeated a variation on this assertion in an appearance on the Jay Leno show. Nevertheless, one has to ask, is it possible that what everyone knows is wrong?
For example, TEA party Republicans in the House told a different story:
U. S. Rep Kristi Noem, R- S. D., noted that the White House had shown no willingness, or little, to negotiate; U. S. Rep. Michael Conaway, noted on the House floor that our colleagues on the other side have taken the attitude my way or the highway;
CNN even reported that U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., in a televised exchange with U. S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, continually argued that neither she nor Republicans have any interest in shutting down the government, only in defunding Obamacare by tying it in with a continuing resolution to fund the government. Variations of that plan have been pursued by Congresses of the past in attempts to kill a variety of pieces of legislation, Bachmann said.
Indeed, it is interesting to note that during the government shutdown, many TEA Party Republican lawmakers, including the much-maligned Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered to donate their salaries to charity. No establishment Republicans, or Democrats, offered to do so.
I noticed that in college 35 years ago, what they were teaching tended to be a few years behind the cutting edge, especially in computer sciences.
While doing my undergrad work I worked on the college paint crew. This gave me opportunities to interact with some professors outside of the classroom. Some were impressive but it was amazing how little common sense some had and a few were just stupid.
However all assumed they knew more about everything than anyone else.
“I noticed that in college 35 years ago, what they were teaching tended to be a few years behind the cutting edge, especially in computer sciences.”
You are pointing out a shocking secret about academia. It is true that academic researchers are generating new “basic” research knowledge in some schools and labs, but many college teachers are working from old knowledge they obtained while students themselves. In the intervening years, they have been in academia and distanced from industry where the actual work and innovations occur. This is particularly true in engineering, business, and the applied sciences. It is one of the reasons MIT is such a great university—yes, I know they have their insular biases, too—but they taught computer science using a specialized language and approach that was meant to foster a way of thinking about programming rather than proficiency at coding. An employee from there told me that the students would learn to be a leader of using software to solve problems and not a technician who could take the solution and create the needed code. Also, a high percentage of the faculty actually start or run businesses, as do a very high percentage of graduates. At other universities, e.g., an elite and expensive midwestern lib arts college that I shall not name here, jobs and applications of knowledge are disdained by the faculty despite the school’s dependence on well-heeled families who send their moppets to the school for a degree. Guess which school is likely to provide leading edge knowledge to its students?
In the past decade....school systems bought on to *National Standards* ....what happened to those...it was all the rage......thousands of dollars...thousands of hours....re-written curriculums...down the terlit.
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