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Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 00:38:59 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Q#3: students' role in a ...
Sender: "Higher Education Processes Discussion (HEPROC)"
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Approved-By:  Carl Reimann <[log in to unmask]>
Comments: To: [log in to unmask]
 
Although I think students need to be more involved in what
goes into their education and be treated with respect and
concern, I object to considering them "customers."  The
relationship I have with my students is nothing like the
relationship between a car seller and a car buyer, for at
least a couple of reasons.  First, most of their education
is paid for by taxpayers, not the students themselves.
Secondly, I consider teaching a sacred trust, not a
commodity to be bought and sold.
 
When I teach, I assume that I'm being asked to help students
to discover some of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of
human beings over time, much of which has no practical
economic value, but which helps my students become better
citizens and more responsible, sensitive human beings.  If a
student wants to learn a marketable skill, then perhaps he
should go to a trade school whose role is to do just that.
A liberal arts college or university, however, ought to keep
as at least part of its mission, something that leads beyond
mere economic gain.  I don't think we should contribute to
the loss of soul that this society has embraced, but be a
bulwark against it.  I understand very well the need for a
source of income, but I understand even more the danger of
making that the single goal of education.
 
Janice Edens
Macon College