In class this past Friday we had a class discussion about disconnects in our higher education system. We found that the main problems stem from the fact that each effected party has different priorities or values.
Students Program Areas
*Notice the fact that they are in an “almost circle” because not one of the four groups are any more important than the others.
Administrations main values include:
- Quantification of learning, which in simpler terms means assessing learning by numbers or percentages.
Students have the most diverse range of values including:
- Free time
- Romantic relationships
Professor’s main values include:
- Personal responsibility for education
Program area values differs between each different program, but in our class we used the writing program as an example:
- “Making Knowledge”
- The ability to form an argument
- Use of evidence
- Responding with a rebuttal
- And qualifying original claims
Is there a conflict within these values? Yes there is!
Mike brings up the point that student’s interests are spread much more wide then the other 3 groups. There are a lot more things to spread a person’s time than purely the school work aspect. To which Caitlin responds with the idea that “there could also be an internal conflict in students.” Whether that be in the student body as a whole, everyone is different and has a different amount of time and interest to spend on each task, or the batter could be within a single student. A battle of self-restraint, and being willing to put in the effort.
Another conflict that was brought up in class was from Fran, she states that the value from the program area of the ability to make an argument, might conflict with the administration’s value of learning by quantification. A student’s ability to form an argument is hard to asses by numbers alone. It has to do with a student’s thought process and whether or not a person agrees or disagrees with a student’s argument, is not something that a grade should be based on.
A thought that I had brought up in class also has to do with the administration’s qualitative learning. I think that our professors value of self-assessment is hard to judge based on numbers. When a student is making observations on their own work, it is hard to compare their assessment of themselves to that of another student. Everyone values and weights different aspects of the class differently, so I think the results may end a little lopsided.
In class we didn’t come up with any definite solution to these conflicts of interest, but we did point out a problem that truthfully I think most students overlook. I think that it is known that students may have a different set of values when it comes to their education than the schools, but I think that it is less common knowledge that there is internal conflicts within the school system as well. The first step to solving any problem is to realize that there is an issue that is in need of solving.