On Thu, 26 Jun 1997, Annette Gourgey wrote:

> Re computers replacing teachers:
> It just occurred to me, at CUNY here in New York, when open admissions
> first came in and they got hit with a large enrollment, large lecture
> classes for intro courses came into vogue--the 100+ auditorium format.
> These have gradually gone out of vogue as administrations realized
> that they were not as effective.  At Baruch College where I adjuncted
> this past semester, a study showed empirically that student achievement
> was poorer in that format, and they dropped many of the large auditorium
> classes for next fall.  Moral of the story:  Technology has its place,
> but as for its replacing teachers inappropriately, can we be optimistic
> that the really inefficient uses will eventually prove themselves
> not cost-effective and get abandoned?  Am I being a pollyanna?
> But after all, even those auditorium lectures are being reevaluated
> at a time of budget cuts!
> Annette Gourgey
> [log in to unmask]

My reply,

Socrates was right--Teaching works best in smaller groups, something
administrators and bean counters have yet to grasp.  Teaching is NOT
something that can be "cost effective" in the short run--but in the long
run, it definitely reaps benefits--not just for the schools by increasing
the tax base, but for everyone by increasing the ability of the "average
consumer" to earn enough to consume!  Education cannot be run as a
business, with students churned out as the end product.  Here at TVI we
are concerned with producing a commodity--employees for the workplace.
That is our task as a technica vocational institute, and I have no quarrel
with that.  However, it seems to me we should also be producing students
who are culturally and politically aware, who can work alone or in groups,
who can think critically and communicate effectively orally or in writing.

Talk about being a Pollyanna!

Peggy Keller
Lead Learning Assistant for English
Assistance Centers for Education
Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM  87106

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