Saturday, February 26, 2005

How do you measure high quality teaching?

I was trolling around Blogexplosion and hit on Res Publica's post re: academic mission versus freedom of speach.

I posted the following comment and hope to spark a decent conversation about how to measure high quality teaching on a college campus. This has been a sticky wicket for admistrators as well as academics for a long time. The larger question is thus: If students are responsible for their own learning, how do we measure high quality teaching that goes beyond test scores as the penultimate measure of classroom success?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Here's my comment:

Unfortunatley, the metrics used to measure performance on a college campus don't reflect the public's view of the main purpose of Higher Education. Moreover, the emphasis is on research, soft dollars attained, and being published. There needs to be a complete overhaul of how we measure quality in the faculty ranks. That said, there is no shortage of opinions about how that should be done. And many tie some kind of corporate metrics to the act, discipline, and art of teaching. High quality teaching is not measured in test output by students. Such misguided rubrics fail to realize that while teaching is the primary responsiblity of the teacher, learning is the primary responsiblity of the student. When one fails, the test scores don't corrolate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big picture education

Today's process needs to be turned around. Instead of teachers providing information, students should be finding it themselves, then coming into class asking questions of the teacher. Teachers should be a resource, not a source.

Teaching should start with, This is what you need to know to get an ''A'' in this course. Here's the exam. Here are the answers to the exam. Memorize them if you must.

Knowledge is like an orange. It grows as a whole, not by the slice. It must start from the whole.

Signposts on the road to Hell

A lot of bad teaching stems from the instructor having never thought through the topic to the end. They have no grasp of the whole. Not knowing where they're going prevents them from giving direction. They just parcel out what they think they know.

Education? not on your life

Education today is a system for credentialing. As such, it has nothing to do with knowledge, which only comes with a lifetime of learning. Anyone who goes to school for knowledge isn't going to find it there. The system is set up to deliver a credential, ''This jackass can learn.''

We don't know if he will.