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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Less preaching more teaching

Illustration by Maria Salvador, March 11, 2014
Illustration by Maria Salvador, March 11, 2014

When a professor’s  personal beliefs outside the coursework influence the curriculum, it is damaging to the students. Teachers who use their lecture time to shrew political or religious ideas which are deviant from the subject matter in their courses are in the wrong.

Classes where teachers are willfully lenient in grading and in turn use their time as an opportunity to advertise their own personal events outside of school do not provide a meaningful experience for those enrolled. An immediate conflict of interest exists if the faculty member is more concerned with filling seats at an event as opposed to actually teaching.

A teacher who begins to make statements about his or her personal beliefs anywhere outside of a class specifically discussing that subject has deviated from anything relevant. Students might mistake this ranting for information which will show up on a  test.

Why should anyone have to sit through a class where the material being lectured on amounts to nothing more than an advertisements for something which is in no way related to the coursework? At best it can be merely entertaining, and at worst it’s like being a captive audience to a bad performance.

Professors should not advocate beliefs by representing them as valid theories. Suggesting validity in the works of disreputable unqualified authors on subject matters scientific will lead students to make false assertions.

When a student reports this behavior it needs to be taken seriously. The current policy has room for improvement; advisers should be able to conduct investigations into cases without prompting the student to sacrifice anonymity. This way the whistleblower can avoid the wrath of a professor scorned, as students who openly disagree with a professor’s personal belief run a risk of having their grades affected.

Rules to prevent this behavior exist for the protection of students. They need to be enforced. As an accredited institution, Pierce College has a good name to protect. To preserve it, immediate intervention in cases of a professor abusing his or her place in the classroom must become the standard operating procedure.

A quality professor should be able to pursue academic freedom without preaching to students or promoting their own events wherein there exists a vested interest. Those who cannot separate those worlds are not qualified to teach at Pierce College.

The Roundup News
The Roundup is the student-run news outlet at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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