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Guillermo:
 
You couldn't be more right! But you are describing the difficult course,
and unfortunately too many administrators (and therefore teachers) feel
bound by the need to make students happy instead of making them better.
In spite of all the current pc rhetoric, the two things are not identical.
 
John Flanigan
 
On Mon, 24 Apr 1995, Guillermo Uribe wrote:
 
> I want to be delicate about this, but I think that what
> Ms. Gracie advocates, asking students to determine the
> learning environment and curricula are partly what is
> terribly wrong with American higher education today.  She
> states that if you buy a car, the buyer "grades" the dealer
> but in higher education, we "grade the customer."
>
> Well, the customer is NOT the student!  Yes, the student is
> ONE of the customers, but there are about 10 customers of
> higher education and one of them is our society. In fact,
> the only rationale for publicly-supported education is the
> good of society as a whole--that is, democracy cannot work
> without an educated people.  If the student were THE
> customer, he/she should pay the total cost just as with
> gasoline, newspapers or clothing.
>
> So in public education we must be MOST mindful of the needs
> of society.  A physician does not (and should not) ask the
> patient to determine the treatment plan, a pilot does not
> ask passengers to help develop the flight plan and and
> engineer does not ask the customer to help determine the
> gauge of metal or steel used in the building.  If students
> knew what they should learn, they know enough not to need
> college.  And whatever we think TODAY about subject matter
> needs, they may well be far different tomorrow.
>
> So, basic, fundamental, learning-to-learn is the best
> safeguard for both a full, future life and to survive the
> economic jungle.  BUT, over the past years we have, too
> often, watered down and twisted the college curriculum to
> more nearly "satisfy" the desires of students than to
> provide the best course of action for their futures. It is
> our job to determine standards and we should not abdicate
> this responsibility to others.  I hope that I haven't
> ruffled feathers, but this is serious.
>
> Marty Solomon <[log in to unmask]>
>