Thursday, April 03, 2008

Do you want fries with that philosopher?

This seems to represent the ultimate triumph of capitalism over all other ideologies.

One student took a far more critical view: We the students are the customers, the consumers, the ones who make the choice every day to pay attention or not. I pay approximately $30,000 to go here, whether I text in class or not. Laurence Thomas gets paid whether his students text in class or not. Does he think that this is the first time this has happened on any college campus? Had he acted like nearly 100 percent of the other college professors in this country, he would have shrugged it off and continued with his lecture, which he is getting paid to do. His deterring of the class and exit from the lecture only serves to highlight is own selfishness, as he will get paid while his paying students are having their time and money wasted. He needs to get over himself here.

Call me old-fashioned, but I side with the professor. An education should not be treated as just another throw-away commodity in our society. And a teacher should receive the respect he or she has earned from their scholarly endeavors. Hopefully the student quoted here is not typical. His or her attitude speaks volumes about their attitude towards the class. Of course I think the professor was being a bit childish in walking out on all of his students because of the actions of one or two.

Unfortunately this class is probably a prerequisite for most of these students and they don't really care about the topic. It does speak volumes about the lack of true learning opportunities in a venue in which one person is speaking to hundreds of learners.

If You Text in Class, This Prof Will Leave :: Inside Higher Ed :: Higher Education's Source for News, and Views and Jobs


Disco Sam said...

I think you hit it on the head as to the real problem - large number of students sitting and listening to a professor. We can not engage students in our traditional methods. I agree that a student who is spending time texting, who most likely is not texting about the subject, is interrupting the class and they should be asked to leave.

dmcoxe said...

Driving home tonight I gave it some more thought and I guess what really is needed is a rethinking of the college experience. College's still operate under the assumption that they need to provide students with a broad liberal education, hence the requirement for liberal arts courses such as the one in this case the course is designated to match "divisional requirements in Arts and Sciences..." (

Since most students in our university systems are looking for a meal ticket to a high paying job, they give only lip service to these additional required courses. Maybe its time universities recognize that the well-rounded education is no longer sought by most and should retool themselves to a type of white-collar trade school where students can get their engineering, business, legal, etc. training and move into the workplace. Any thoughts?