Academic Asininity

Seven Day. Still air. Not quite pleasant. So quickly home and into the joys of tab ‘hoggin’. And hence a bit of commentage.

First, a rather nasty (?) article [Link] on HuffPo entitled “Universities must enter the digital age or risk facing irrelevance.” The argument here is that the ant hill sociality of GEN Ys needs to be the mode in academies of higher education.

My initial reaction was disgust and horror: one more instance of the punishment and suppression of INTROs and the exaltation – mindlessly – of EXTROs. And it is that. But it is also fundamentally flawed in many ways.

First of all, the proponents have lost sight of the difference between training and education. Training is a social thing; Education is an individual thing. And what they are advocating is very much training and sociality and the eradication of individuality and education. These are the hallmarks of slave management. 

Education is an individual activity. Yes, it may be facilitated by group activities but ultimately it is about teaching the individual how to think and become a self-teacher. Not a member of an ant colony. Technology is part of this. Black boards were a major improvement over purely oral presentations. Powerpoint slides however, are detrimental to learning and education. They quite ignore that the focus is the individual. Colleges should not be factories.

This is pointed up by a second article [Link] entitled “Should Teachers Ask Students To Check Their Devices At The Classroom Door?” The author of this article has none of the cancerous delusions of the first. And what he does is take the growing body of information on how old fashioned – back to the beginnings of colleges – note taking is the cornerstone of college education. 

Not photographs, not Powerpoint slides, not slablet/lapbox notes. Old fashioned manual movement after information processing of ink onto paper. 

And definitely not group grope sessions in place of lectures.

Let us take these idiots out of the colleges and send them to the training factories of the corporate environment so that we may be assured their stupidity and poison will not destroy our future.