Forum Theme 2
Reading Dr. Koch’s paper on a Liberal Arts Education created conflict in me. Whereas I highly value such an education, I despair that the information/material age we live in continues to devalue it. Granted, I teach writing in a community college rather than a university. We have open enrollment, which includes students who are not necessarily prepared for college. However, I must point out that most of my students are general education students taking their first two years at the community college with plans to transfer to a 4-year school to complete their education. For the most part, these students are not interested in expanding their minds, knowledge, imagination, etc. so much as to get a piece of paper which will (they hope) get them a job. For this reason, I have reduced my teaching to instilling the skills that will be needed to meet the requirements of acceptable college writing in a variety of classes. I say “reduced” in the previous sentence, but in reality it has become so much harder with little real joy. Current abuses of our language through texting, “twittering”, emailing, and “clever” advertising have undermined many students’ elementary skills in language. When I began teaching, though I had aspirations of classroom discussions based on deep thinking and imagination, my experience is that it is impossible to get any response close to that from more than a couple students a semester. I do not mean to malign the students as I don’t really blame them. Nor do I blame their previous K-12 teachers. Instead, I deplore the effect of pop culture and our materialistic society on them.
©2010 Linda Bingham
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"A Response to Submitting to the Disciplines of Liberation,"
UNIversitas: Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Vol. 6
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/universitas/vol6/iss2/8