Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Rullsenberg Rants: Who wants to be the "new Immanuel Kant"?

... certainly not many of our current intake of undergraduate students. As a new series of Teachers looms forth to our C4 screens (sadly it seems from the trailers minus the hilarious presence of Brian and Curt ) my cynicism about what teaching is really like in the 21st century is confirmed by the horrors a friend/colleague faced recently.

Confronted by students who saw that her reasons for teaching were limited to selling her labour, my friend was shocked by this generation's consumerist ideology. (Sadly I wasn't).

"I think you're being very idealistic if you think that we've come here to spend 3 years fantastising about becoming the next Immanuel Kant"

They are there to get jobs, well-paid jobs. The degree is irrelevant, and they sure as hell do not expect to have to work (for a Cultural studies degree?! Hmm, they haven't swallowed the media/government line about 'soft' subjects have they?). Like those approaching a shop assistant, they want the item in their colour and their size: so it's a case of "what are YOU going to do so that I can pass this degree?"

Sell it me like this...

In a world of customers and consumers there really IS NO ROOM for learning and education. Why the hell would they need to be?

NOTE: not sure what jobs they think they will walk into after they 'achieve' their degrees... still, let's face it, there is little inccentive for institutions to throw them out no matter how blatantly the student fails to work hard enough...

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