Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Students Are Not "Customers"

What this post says about college can equally be applied to K-12:
American Universities and a former president of Cornell and the University of Iowa, in the Washington Post.
Unlike a car, college requires the “buyer” to do most of the work to obtain its value.

. . . The courses the student decides to take (and not take), the amount of work the student does, the intellectual curiosity the student exhibits, her participation in class, his focus and determination — all contribute far more to her educational “outcome” than the college’s overall curriculum, much less its amenities and social life. Yet most public discussion of higher ed today pretends that students simply receive their education from colleges the way a person walks out of Best Buy with a television.
When college students see themselves as consumers, they “feel entitled to classes that do not push them too hard, to high grades and to material that does not challenge their assumptions or make them uncomfortable, writes Rawlings.
So let’s acknowledge that college is not a commodity. It’s a challenging engagement in which both parties have to take an active and risk-taking role if its potential value is to be realized.

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