Friday, April 27, 2007

Freedom vs obedience in tertiary sector education

While socialising with a student today she told me she has to go to a disciplinary hearing for missing more than 20% of her timetabled lectures. She has paid something in the order of $2500, for a semesters courses and then the institution I work for thinks they can take her to a disciplinary hearing for not availing herself of the courses???
The lecturer hasnt bothered to get feedback to discover what might put off attendance, things like public discussion of personal issues could well be of concern here. There is such an arrogance in assuming students have to be within the four walls timetabled and in the presence of a great one to learn. Bollocks.
But the institution seems to have a rule saying we take your money, in exchange we provide you this service, and then if you dont use it we take it off you. Hello?
Let me see if I can make an analogy here of similar services, I purchase six months worth of access to the internet, and then I dont use it for two weeks out of 10, the company can drop me, refuse me further access...?
In the meantime her house has had a fire, her mum has dementia, the house is on the market.
All assessment points were being met, but she is now so stressed re a disciplinary hearing she couldnt concentrate on the next assignment and thought she might drop it.
Its a university for Gods sake, not only that, but a health faculty, one that teaches caring, mental health, health promotion....
The student gets taught all about optimising the health of others, saving lives even, but we dont trust an adult to make adult decisions about where their learning may best take place?
This is stupid.
This is not about education or learning or being student centred or being adult learning oriented.
This is about control.
No wonder institutionalised education gets bad rap.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Love this raw example of privileged differences and identities in educational learning communities/ institutions Ailsa

    A teacher’s role is never neutral in the classroom,Ellsworth's analysis suggests that even a "call to dialogue" is also an exercise of power, - with assumptions and expectations involving "teacher authority, communication norms, legitimate forms of participation, and privileged differences and identities."