Mar 24, 2008 - quirky    No Comments

Professors strike back

Students have been ranting about their professors since time immemorial. Of late, they are doing it online on rate my professor.

Most of you would think that there is nothing special about this. Students do that all the time and if they are now doing it via vlog, then it is just cyber progression of an old phenomenon.

What interesting is that the professors are striking back, online of course. When academics and scholars were recently given the chance to counter student criticism posted on the website RateMyProfessors.com, a cult-hit television series, “Professors Strike Back,” was born. The show, which has professors responding on camera to undergraduate gripes such as “boring beyond belief,” made its debut in October last year on mtvU, a 24-hour network broadcast to more than 7.5 million students on American college campuses.

I thought it was hilarious and shared it with a friend who has a teaching position in a university in London (I know I know, you wanted it to be confidential, so no names here). She, very stoically, said that a teacher’s job is to impart knowledge, not entertain. If a teacher is boring beyond belief, the students just have to grin and bear it. Education requires some serious mental sweat, enduring boring lectures is part of it.

As far as I am concerned, I am against teachers oversimplifying complex concepts for stupid students (I think it contributes to general dumbing down of the society), but I have always appreciated professors who impart knowledge with a sense of humor. One of my professors, Dr. Rorden Wilkinson had just the right blend of humour, wit and intellect to woo his students. The fact that he was a looker also helped. What say?

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