Dad lamented my leaving for 3 yrs at seminary. Referring to MDiv as “the union card,” he added, “The only thing seminary has in common with Christ’s training of His disciples is both are 3 yr institutions.”
Obviously returning to personal knowledge and instruction in higher ed’s humanities would be a massive change. But higher ed’s humanities have been a joke for decades already. AI taking higher ed by storm only heightens the hypocrisy of claiming otherwise. Most places, a combination of profs thinking they’re too good and important to waste time teaching (let alone knowing students personally), combined with social media personality syndrome, combined with PC censorship, have sabotaged any efforts at higher ed developing critical thinking. Love,
This is true if you mean that this is the preferred model of university administrators even though research is always subsidized by tuition dollars. Always.
This is the last thing anyone wants. If professors all woke up one day and decided to teach – meaning they expected students to learn – howls of anguish and anger would erupt across the nation from students, parents, university administrators, and state legislators.
One or two of my colleagues sometimes do. But it doesn’t scale, and university administrators and state legislators are all about pushing more and more students through the pipeline at a faster and faster rate.
Actually, I’m channeling an academic here, talking abt profs not teaching. In my friend’s case as top-drawer prof and dean of law and business schools at 45,000 prestigious European uni, he can’t get his profs to bother with teaching and caring for students. So, he says, the school’s applicant pool for his schools is declining. He tells his profs to focus on teaching and students, but they’re above it. And he’s very well published. He also spent years as VP of the uni over all research, so he knows the finances of research vs teaching.
Also, my concern is very much related to seminaries. Don Carson and Wayne Grudem are “research profs,” and I know why.
This is the reason we have New Geneva Academy, and the problem is addressed in our teaching seeking to inoculate our students from becoming anything like many of the pastors trained at legacy seminaries who ape their profs, thinking they too will have made it when they get to be a preacher who doesn’t have to give himself to pastoral care.
This is not to say you’re wrong in your own situation, nor that others are not in a similar situation, but reform is needed in higher ed across the board. I mean, look at the forty percent bogus research papers permeating higher ed today. If people knew how much of the research we pay for is based on improperly interpreted or dishonest data, there would be a revolt. Love,
Yes, I incorporated them formally in high school math classes. I would increase them if I return to teaching. But, no, few take the time to conduct oral interviews.
Like others have said, it is very time consuming. It requires dedication. I see parallels in industry. Interviewing is really draining, but we will dedicate many hours to the interview process, some employees a few times per year. We also recognize IT code reviews to be essential, but we don’t do them enough, but we do try to prioritize them for the youngest developers. This common verbal (and preferably in-person) component shows that our priority is the people not the code. These are teaching moments and judging moments.
Definitely. But it doesn’t happen because people don’t want it to happen. Sure, they would like this aspect or that aspect to change, but once it becomes apparent that change would threaten a cherished goal, reform is abandoned.
Most parents and state legislators view the university as in the business of providing degrees so that students can get “good jobs”, and any learning is secondary to the credential. Students have a strong preference for “easy A” professors and mistakenly believe that they are learning more when they exert less cognitive effort. So credentialing and the appearance of education exceed actual learning and knowledge in K-12 schooling through college. I could tell you some obvious reforms that would reduce costs and improve learning, but they would lower the matriculation rate and the graduation rate and therefore raise the ire of the state legislature.
Most faculty are not going to write bogus research papers because that’s how they like to spend their time. Instead, they write bogus research papers because research papers are required to get and keep a job, and bogus research is easier to do this real research. The increasing focus on research, even at historically non-research universities, is primarily driven by administrators, who rightly see it as a way to move up in the rankings. Since it is mostly quantity, not quality, that is assessed in rankings, bogus research is just as good as real research. And universities want to move up in the rankings because parents are obsessed with rankings and want their kid to get in the most highly ranked school possible. Partly this is mistaken thinking because studies show life outcomes depend more on the abilities of the person than the university he attended, but partly it is correct thinking because these days it is increasingly the case that people are excluded from jobs because they don’t have the right sort of academic pedigree. So if you want to pay for less bogus research, get rid of rankings and consideration of “brand name” in hiring. But that will never happen, because elite positions would then no longer be reserved for the right sort of people.
We could as easily apply these explanations to churches, rather than schools and higher ed. Pastors use the same reasoning to justify no preaching to the conscience, no preaching God’s law, no calling to repentance, and no pastoral care. It’s what the students and their parents want, and the students are your customers. It’s what the elders/congregants want and the elders/congregants are your customers. As an assistant/associate pastor, it’s what their senior pastor/head of staff wants because it’s what his elders/congregants want, and his elders/congregants are his customers; and it’s the asstistant/associate pastor’s job to do what his senior pastor wants because the senior pastor is the assistant/associate pastor’s customer.
I’ve had many profs and doctoral candidates in my congregation, and if I saw them excusing a lack of personal care for their students by appeal to the demands of their administrators, I’d double down on them. By God’s grace, I haven’t had such men and women. But I constantly reminded them it was their calling to “profess,” and professing is what the Christian does best.
Love for his student issuing into teaching and disciplining the student’s ego as he forms the student’s mind, reasoning, knowledge, and self-discipline is the heart of any teacher worthy of that name, whether that teacher is called “mother,” “father,” “teacher,” “prof,” or “pastor.”
Certainly. The parallels to pastoring and the examples you mention were in my mind when writing out my comment, and I’ve come to view higher level administrators as occupying the same ecological niche as denominational bigwigs in the PCA.
In recent years I’ve become more aware of the conflict between expectations of my employer and obligations to my profession, and I’ve decided to focus on research that I think it important rather than research that brings in funding and to also teach more in terms of quantity and quality.
However, my feeling is that there is no way I could get the job I have now if I had to do it today, and I have not put my kids on the path to get into an elite college. In fact, I recently have been considering some examples where children raised in the church abandoned faith shortly after arriving at an elite college. My guess is that the cause is not the elite college itself but rather the prior years-long process of checking off all the boxes to have a chance of getting into an elite college. I imagine that all the performance and inauthenticity that is required for that endeavor must be toxic to faith.