Saturday, February 17, 2007

Constrictive College Classes

The focus in this batch of articles seems to be the loss of self in college society. It's unfortunate to have to deal with the dual nature of living both in the context of college and (for lack of a better term) real life. College teaches students how to think, but a lot of that has to do with how the professors think.
I keep running over the part in "Conflict and Struggle: The Enemies or Preconditions of Basic Writing?" where students look at the statue of Perseusholding the head of medusa. One student starts off a paper by saying, "When I see this statue it is of the white man and he is holding the head of the negro." (44) There are college professors on this campus who would read this first statement, skip to the end and write "no. rewrite." at the end. The reasoning behind that is, simply, because the professor had never thought of that possible interpretation before, so it must be incorrect.
I think that a big reason why "gate-keepers" were afraid to have open admissions at colleges is because they looked out at their classes and thought, "No. not like us." These students just don't think the way we do, nor do they value what we value.
The fact of the matter is that, after some time, college students can assume what certain professors are asking for when they assign a paper. The opinions of Foucault and Freud are more valued opinions than a student's own opinions of a work. It's my opinion that the gate-keepers might have looked out to their classes and thought to themselves, "there's no possible way I can teach these students how to think like I do." And, they left it at that. How could they deal with such a diversity of thought? I mean, college students mainly come from a middle-class family. They are hard workers and did well in school. Open admissions could disrupt that homogenous demographic.
Of course, teachers who were up to the challenge of finding a different opinion, or actively participating in a dialogue with students would get along quite well with the new breed of students introduced by open admissions.

1 comment:

Reader1 said...

It kind of sounds like you're saying that there may not have to be such a "loss of self" in college if the professors weren't requiring it. I find that very interesting as a defense for students of diverse backgrounds. I also think, though, that all college students should be challenged in their beliefs no matter what background they come from, simply as a instrument of growth.
Very thought provoking blog entry!