Teaching needs small classes

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Next, in terms of classroom teaching, there have got to be small classes. What kind of education is it, like at Harvard, where you have 800 people in a class? Is this education? People pay all that money to go there, for what? To sit in a huge class—why not get a videotape? Why not go read the lecture? This is not teaching. Teaching is when you have one person, a teacher in a room, doing improv with a class. Looking at the students, looking at them as people. And all faculty should be made to teach freshmen. This idea that “Oh, the freshmen—let’s leave that to the graduate students, the slaves.” That’s absurd. The freshman year is the most important year, especially for people coming from deprived backgrounds. The teacher must confront the student face-to-face. Look at the student, watch the way the students are changing from year to year, care for them as individual beings. This has got to happen. The reform of education will be achieved when we do that, when we give personal attention to the students.

Read Camille Paglia’s speech

Thanks to edrx from #emacs for pointing this out!


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