Hey college students. Remember high school? Remember when you were limited to the same social hierarchy, not being able to surround yourself with people of your choosing? Or when you had no other option but to join a mainstream sport because the clubs that were more suited towards your interests did not exist. Or when you hardly had the freedom to choose what classes to take and and when to take them. Need I go on further?
My point is that college is a lot better than high school in many ways. However, one overarching similarity that colleges and high schools have in common is an abundance of ineffective teachers. Indeed, colleges actually encourage this phenomenon by rewarding their professors with tenure, honors, and remuneration based on not what goes on in the classroom and which has nothing to do with the effectiveness of their teaching, but rather for such things as grants garnered and papers published.
In my college experience, one professor that truly stands out is a prime example of how colleges reward teachers for accomplishments that have nothing to do with teaching. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I wake up dreading to go to this class. My prediction is always accurate: I will be sitting in sheer boredom for two hours. That is because this professor, who to his credit gives frequent and extensive lectures, is never successful in getting his point across (assuming that there is a point). It is common sense to assume that because this professor is ineffective in transmitting knowledge to students, the college would take action. However, he is rewarded with tenure because he has earned a Ph.D. and published papers detailing research he has conducted. Thus, this professor fits neatly into what the corrupt college system truly cares about, which is having a faculty replete with professors adorned with Ph.D.s and who have published since things to enhance the prestige of the college, which in turn will attract more and better students to the college who will be willing to pay more for their education.
Of course we cannot blame the higher education system for being corrupt. High schools are run by the government and therefore operate under the only goal of facilitating learning. Colleges however, are also a business. Meaning that they are trying to make money and become popular in order to lure in future students.
Now that we have established that there is indeed a problem, what should be the call to action? The way I see it there are two options: We can either spend our energy striving to eliminate the business side of College’s altogether, or take the easier approach and make the business side dependent facilitation of learning. But before we delve into how this can be accomplished, Let me explain how a business organization operates. A traditional strategy in business organizations is to use punishments and materialistic rewards on workers in order to gain success. However, this system promotes individual based desires and frankly it wastes money. That is why many businesses have adopted the charismatic leadership strategy. Basically, this means that these businesses make it their first priority to gain charismatic leadership in order to achieve success. The idea is that this will arouse workers to gain an authentic commitment to the leader and the leaders mission, and transform workers interests from individual based to collective.
The College system is currently operating under a business model that has proven to be ineffective because it is based on material incentive and punishment. Rather than promoting charismatic leadership, colleges utilizing this model rely on the threat of bad grades and a promise for a good career in order for students to be motivated to succeed. And while that system does motivate students to some degree, it is flawed. So I would propose that hiring and rewarding teachers based on their charismatic leadership will benefit both the student and the business. Here is why…
- Charismatic Leadership has proven to transform interests from being individually based to collectively based. For example, A student who has feels that he or she has learned something from a professor will talk highly of that professor and the school, thus increasing the colleges popularity.
- Research has also demonstrated that Charismatic leadership causes workers to perform above and beyond the call of duty. The same can be applied to college students. Students will apply more effort and therefore obtain a great wealth of knowledge, which should translate into greater success. In turn this will enhance the school’s reputation.
Although the business side of college’s has always been a hindrance to the learning side, it is only natural that the business side of college should thrive off of student achievement. Now is the time to make this happen.