Value of Higher Education - Rowinsky-Geurts
By Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts PhD on Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Re: Is our students learning? by Margaret Wente (referencing the U.S. book “Academically Adrift”), published in the Globe and Mail on June 16, 2011:
Life at university could be as boring or exciting as you may want it to be! Contrary to what some people think, most professors actually want to meet students. They care about students’ success and they not only teach content, many times they are also mentors. What does it mean to be mentor? It means that a professor will accommodate time outside class to actually have chats with students to guide them on their studies or to help them navigate their academic journey or perhaps to help them with some unexpected issue. Talking to students about how to get the most of their time at an institution is not only rewarding, it could also be life changing for both the student and instructor. So, when people say that professors are not available, that the corridors are empty because of a secret pact between students and professors about not bothering each other, I say: walk around any time during the academic year and be inspired by hearing conversations between students and professors in professors’ offices or in lounges, in the corridors or in elevators. Anywhere, anytime. The doors are open, students come in and out looking for answers, advice or just to say hello! Some professors talk to students all the time. They are excited and hopeful to see them in their first year and they are proud and even a bit sad to see them go after four years. Some students still keep in touch even years after graduation. So, don’t shy away. Establish contact and nurture the communication with your profs. The results will be nothing less than spectacular.
Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts, Department of Languages and Literatures, Wilfrid Laurier University, and 3M National Teaching Fellow.
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