Connecting the Dots

This semester has really been an eye opening one for me. To be completely honest, one of the main drivers in taking some of these GRAD courses has been to give me a competitive edge when applying for jobs.  However, I have really learned a lot in this course especially about myself and my own assumptions about teaching and pedagogical practice.  I find myself sort of straddling a line when it comes to my thoughts and opinions on the future of teaching and my own personal teaching philosophy.  One of the things I am most proud of is that even before taking these courses, I have always found myself questioning how I could improve (in my case) veterinary medical education.  As discussed in the readings for this week by Palmer and others, I see so many students only concerned about the grade, lacking empathy, and forgetting that there are real lives and real patients on the other end of all this.  However, I also find parts of me still deeply rooted in many traditional ways of thinking.  Even though I can see the shortcomings, I still feel that many of the traditional ways of teaching the –ologies (physiology, neurology, nephrology, etc.) by just rote memorization of facts may still be a necessary part of the curriculum.  Thankfully, I don’t think anyone has ALL the right answers and it is going to take some pushing and pulling from both sides (traditional and contemporary) to work together to find better alternatives.

5 thoughts on “Connecting the Dots”

  1. Thank you for your post. It is really painful to see that some students only think about the grades. I think the main reason is the way of teaching and not that the students were not interested in the real purposes of education at the first place. I agree with you that sometimes the memorization is useful but a lot of times it is not.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts. It was really helpful. I may share your opinion that traditional way of teaching may still be necessary. Students should still know facts and theories, but why do they need to memorize it? I don’t really see any reason for this except to spit it in an exam. Accordingly, a better way to do that may be by first letting the students themselves learn the basics and facts and then come to class in which we as instructors can discuss it with them and then students should be required to “apply” these facts in real projects. And no memorization because there is no need for exams!! This reminds me of a quote by Albert Einstein “Never memorize something that you can look up”.

  3. I really like your post! I agree that not everyone has all the right answers when it comes to teaching and that we are going to have to pull from all different points of view to find alternatives that work. And I think that this will be an ongoing process. We are never going to find the one way to teach. Great post!

  4. Unfortunately, todays system force us to only think about the grade. Even to get into grad school you need to have a good GPA. I actually wrote a post he I took the Future Professiorate class where I was talking about why does the GPA does not mean much in todays world since you can accept a student with 4.00 GPA and without no idea of what to do. I believe that is not the students fault to think too much about grades, we all know that is what everybody considers to believe that you we worthy of that position.

  5. Great post! I, too, am concerned by the lack of empathy in higher education. Yet another reason I think a well-rounded education with a valued inclusion of the humanities, as defended by Edelstein, is merited.

    I was lucky to be apart of a class taught by Dr. John Robertson (“Dr. Bob”) here at Tech. I will never forget one comment he made on his experience doing research with animal models. Though paraphrased, he said, “I knew that if ever I stopped valuing the life of each individual animal that I used in a study, I needed to retire immediately.” For me, that speaks directly to the need for ethical and emotional perspectives in our professions. I hope higher education can catch up with this need for “new professionals.”

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