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July 14, 2009
Papajohn Higher Education Center
Image by vanhookc via Flickr

I posted the following as a comment to David Moltz’s InsideHigherEd article “Aligning Jobs and Training”:

If a lifetime of adjuncting positions wasn’t bad enough, the job forecast for the next 8 years seems to be worse.  Instead of just teaching the low-end courses that tenured faculty no longer want, the English adjunct can also help out the struggling nursing student  (how is not made clear–etymology?) get a two-year degree.

At the risk of being cast out of acceptable society, I have to say that Obama, on this, is shortsighted and wrong.  By middling, pandering to the job sector, he is asking higher education to limit its mission.  When has the limitation of the exploration of ideas into what is marketable ever benefited anyone?

Put away the Shakespeare and Romantic Poets, our kids need to learn advanced PowerPoint and how to sort their Excel spreadsheets.  Or, they need to know how to properly take the dictation of the really educated Doctor class.

By the sound of this article, the administration wants more workers, less thinkers, and expects a lot less of its citizens.

I would also add that Training and Education are two completely different animals, and should not be confused.  Businesses train, universities educate.

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One Comment
  1. IBEST English Teacher permalink
    August 12, 2009 8:26 pm

    I recently found your blog, and I’m really enjoying it!

    I’m actually an English teacher who just taught in one of these combined basic skills/Nursing Assistant courses in Washington. The article wasn’t very clear about this, but all of us teaching these courses are either ESL teachers or Adult Basic Ed. teachers. We specialize in teaching language and study skills for students whose goals are either academic or vocational. Most of my students are still learning English and have very little academic experience. I taught them how to use their textbooks, take multiple-choice tests, use effective reading strategies, write resumes and cover letters, survive job interviews, and communicate effectively with patients. I think it is important to note that the teachers who teach in this model are not doing this instead of teaching Shakespeare; this is actually what we specialize in.

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