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Letter to the editor

February 16, 2012

 

Rhonda Boyd, Instructor
Department of Kinesiology

 

I am writing this in response to Justin Fort’s column in The Tech Talk on Feb. 9, 2012.

 

I appreciate Justin’s frustration that he has “some” teachers who rely solely on Power Point presentations as their form of teaching. However, I do not appreciate being lumped into a generalized category of teachers “wastes” students’ time. If I were to follow Justin’s thought and make a generalization of Tech students, it would go something like this: Students don’t buy the textbooks, much less read them, they don’t take notes, they want to be spoon-fed the information for class, constantly asking “if this is going to be on the test,” they sleep in class, they don’t know anything about current events unless it is posted on someone’s Facebook status, and they are so important that they must check their text messages in class. It is ludicrous to say all Tech students fit this category just as it is ludicrous to say all Tech teachers don’t teach.

 

I can only speak for myself as a teacher. I constantly look for ways to engage students whether is its through discussion, games, field trips, hands on activities or service learning projects. I know my colleagues also have their students actively engaged in the community in learning situations whether it is at the local elementary, junior high or high school, nursing homes, physical therapy/occupational therapy clinics, or other appropriate community sites. I personally believe that we do have the best of the best students.

 

I am saddened that Justin feels that he has spent three years at Tech and has learned little. It may be time for Justin and other students to take some responsibility for their own education. Learning is an active process and students need to become active in their own preparation for class.

 

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2 Responses to Letter to the editor

  1. Linza Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Oh No! A student has complained of something. A student has complained of teachers overusing a medium which for years, teachers have been complaining of students overusing. The irony is almost painful.

    Becoming reactively defensive and using targeted rhetoric on a student (your paying customer) in an attempt to make him feel bad about criticizing the school he attends is not a good way to improve his education, your coworkers’ teaching methods, or the students’ opinions of you as an instructor. It is unprofessional. I know you feel the need to defend yourself and your department against what you feel is an “attack,” but please understand that while there is no ACTIVE organization at Louisiana Tech where students can represent themselves in quality assurance and pedagogy matters, these complaints will continue to be framed in this way. There is very little option for a regular student.

    The student union is supposed to exist for the purpose of representing students to their university’s administrative body and to defend their rights as defined by law and the university’s code. Unfortunately, when I was at LA Tech in the early 2000s, it seemed the organization was solely dedicated to organizing movie nights and providing free scantrons. Representative work was reserved for students who delicately phrased nonsense in an attempt to prevent such reactions as we have seen here, and who identified themselves with the prevailing political sentiments of the local community, regardless of their thoughts on higher education. I sense it has not improved.

    Lastly, the Tech Talk is and should remain an open forum for complaints of this variety and others. Students should feel free to express themselves without fear of retribution from professors (2006, 2007) or defensive reactions that preclude improvement.

    But I’m a wayward idealist. That kind of free speech and quality assurance is surely reserved for real universities, not technical universities.

  2. Linza Reply

    April 1, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Here’s the link I couldn’t find before:

    http://www.esu-online.org/resources/6068/Student-Centred-Learning-Toolkit/

    Possibly LA Tech’s student union needs to get on this.

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