Saturday, February 06, 2010

Class Sizes

Riffing off this post from Tenured Radical, Dr. Crazy cuts to a core issue facing higher education:
"The core question is, as far as I can reduce it down, do more bodies in seats per each section = greater teaching productivity/efficiency? In these times of budgetary woe, it seems like my administrators at least think that the answer to that question is 'yes.' There's lots of talk about raising class maximums, about finding ways to have tenure-line faculty teach more and more students, about how to organize teaching in a way that costs less and that yields more profit. There is something to be said for this model of thinking about things. According to a corporate model, efficiency = fewer dollars spent and more students 'served.'

"But this is where things get sticky. What does it mean to "serve" our students? Are students "served" by ever-increasing class sizes? Yes, more of them will be able to enroll in and to complete a greater number of courses under this model. But is teaching productivity measured (solely) by enrollment figures? Should it be?"



Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a student at SHIP I already believe class sizes are too large. Tuition keeps going up as quality goes down. The bar is set too low in the American educational system. No Child Left Behind has dummied down this country and those affected are now in college, unable to write and believing that a degree will make them employable. As a nation, we are screwed. Gotta wonder what it will be like in another 10 years if things do not change.....

9:32 PM  

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