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Subject:

New Tutorial Listserve

From:

Frank Christ <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 24 Aug 1995 22:27:10 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

I have found a new listserve on the Internet that might interest some of
us. It is called Tutor-L. It started up with a long Tutorial Manifesto
by the listserve owner -- a manifesto that has stirred up quite a
discussion. A portion of one of the discussions is reproduced below. If
you would like to subscribe to this listserve, here are the directions:

Send email to: [log in to unmask]
Leave subject header blank
In body of message, write   SUB TUTOR-L <your first name> <your last name>
*********************************************************************
**********************************************************************
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 22:27:57 -0500
From: Tutor-L <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Tutorials

From: [log in to unmask] (Delores Capps, Registrar)

The need for a tutorial approach in teaching humanities is obvious to anyone
who has attended a university and hoped to graduate as a more educated
person as well as a more skilled person.  The university's combination of
large classes, teaching assistants and "star performers" as professors has
just about destroyed any real appreciation or knowledge concerning the
humanities.
The best we can do as graduates is to repeat trite phrases and titles that
we have picked up from an uninterrupted, canned lecture or specific
materials we have crammed together in preparing for a test that teachig
assistants can grade.  We can do very little to discuss the ideas, the
issues or the questions presented by Plato, Aquinas, or Kant.  The enemy
here is the university and it will take no less than a revolution in
learning to change anything.  The victim is the student who is not getting
value received for either the money or the precious time invested in getting
an education.  The current university operates for the sake of the
university, not the student. The faculty, the administration and the regents
or curators all serve the university and set priorities having to do with
status and prestige, the budget, building programs, athletic programs,
professional schools, community relations and appropriations and endowments.
 The student benefits only incidentally from any of these priorities.  The
argument runs, of course, that the greater the prestige of the university,
the greater the value of a degree obtained from that university.  But for
the moment we are not discussing degrees, but learning and it is here that
the revolution must take place.  University faculty will be of no help, for
innovation or change is simply not a university thing.  Tenure requirements,
peer review, departmental and university committees, refereed journals,
academic conferences, syllabi and core curriculums all give us a steady drum
beat of conformity, conformity, conformity.  Remember that currently the
highest and most prestigious reward any university professor can receive is
to be removed altogether from both students and teaching.  Research has its
merits, of course, but whether it should be done at the expense of the
student or on the backs of the student is an ethical problem not yet solved
on univesity campuses.  I will simply point out here that research is given
a far higher priority than teaching by both the university and the faculty.

The Tutorial Manifesto offered by Larry Sanger is an interesting idea  and
perhaps a beginning.  I think that some of the problems facing such a
movement is that the tutorial system would be used only as a supplement to
the university and thus would have to be done in addition to university
work. Also there is the problem of credit for such courses.  And then there
is the problem of who is competent and who is not.  All of this may be
positive in that it might force us to look at learning for its own sake, not
as a means to an end, such as a degree or credit.  Some might say that they
can't afford this, but after all, the degree from the university is steadily
losing its value as an income producing property.  The value of the tutorial
system is that it is voluntary and each individual makes their own
decisions.  It might also produce some innovative scholarship for a change.
Since the humanities are part of a collective heritage, I would hope that
the movement itself would produce a community of interest and responsibility
where scholars could exchange ideas and concepts without feeling excluded
from the discussion.  At the same time I believe everyone should be held
accountable for their words and views and be required to justify them
without exception.  Perhaps the data base could contain more than the
traditional vita which I consider to be more show than real.  Finally, I
would like to see a journal that is truly interdisciplinary and the authors
identified not by their discipline or university, but by their name and
their work.

                                William Painter, Sr. Ph.D (history)
                                Director of School of Advanced Studies
                                Virtual Online University
         Delores Capps                    VOU, Inc.
           Registrar                   Athena University
 [log in to unmask]     http://www.athena.edu
          [log in to unmask]            campus: athena.edu 8888
                   VIRTUAL ONLINE UNIVERSITY
      Post Office Box 7383      Columbia, Mo. USA  65205-7383
*******************************************************************
*********************************************************************

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