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On Mon, 8 May 1995, Janice Edens wrote:
 
> 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
>
Well said, Janice. I think (I hope) that most CC teachers agree with you.
But how do we sell the idea to administrators who are necessarily more
bottom-line oriented and students who don't yet have the maturity (in
most cases) to appreciate our point?
 
John Flanigan
Kapiolani CC, Honolulu