IUBio GIL .. BIOSCI/Bionet News .. Biosequences .. Software .. FTP

[fwd: education as a commodity]

Lelia C. Orrell orrell at umbsky.cc.umb.edu
Thu Nov 20 07:44:02 EST 1997

Two things:
I just want to clarify something I did not make clear  in the header
when I forwarded the "education as a commodity" post to
bionet.women-in-bio.  The original post, which I found interesting,
poignant to the discussion going on here and passionately written, was
(in case anyone is interested):

Subject:      Re: Education as a Commodity
From:         Joseph Dean Cornell <jcornell at MAILBOX.SYR.EDU>
Date:         1997/11/17
Message-ID:   <199711172042.PAA26756 at hiroshima.american.edu>
Sender:       "Ecological Society of America
Newsgroups:   sci.bio.ecology

Secondly,  in reference to the spelling and grammar portion of the
thread;  it is frustrating that students are graduating from high school
without the remedial skills necessary to get them on sound footing upon
entering college.  This may be why a high school diploma doesn't cut the
mustard anymore as far as securing a good entry-level job.  Many
employers have learned that a potential employee will not be able to
prepare a memo, write a report, balance their departmental budget, keep
records, etc.. (i.e. not perform well enough) without at LEAST a BA or
BS.  More and more I find science TA's playing the role of english/math
high school teacher.  In addition, universities are accepting more
(unprepared) students without budgeting for additional tutor services
and other academic services.  On the contrary, at many state
universities these services are being shrunk.

I agree with an earlier post on one of the culprits to a changing
student body: lack of reading skills.  It is true that the more one
reads, the more one is able to improve and advance their writing skills
- usage is the key.  I can't tell you how difficult it is to get
freshman undergrads to read the lab manual, either prior to class, in
class, or even afterwards when they need it to write a lab report.  An
example is when I bring up in my lecture that they should read the
manual before they write the report, especially the materials and
methods section.  I explain how to use citations and the importance of
anyone being able to recreate the exact experiment from their
procedure.  I point out that instructions in the manual would
potentially save them A LOT of writing and work.  Out of 62 reports this
semester for example, only 1, yes 1, student clearly read the manual.
When I told them that their M&M write-ups were impressive (open to
personal interpretation ;-) ), but that there were roughly 2-4
unnecessary pages that included methods they themselves did not actually
do, most students get very irritated and annoyed that they wrote so much
(read "plagiarized") that they did not have to.  Hopefully this
"exercise" impresses upon them the importance and necessity of actually
reading, the personal crime in plagiarizing, and that their lab fee,
which covers the printing of the manual, can actually work for them.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: vcard.vcf
Type: text/x-vcard
Size: 496 bytes
Desc: Card for Lelia C. Orrell
Url : http://iubio.bio.indiana.edu/bionet/mm/womenbio/attachments/19971120/090f663d/vcard.bin

More information about the Womenbio mailing list

Send comments to us at archive@iubioarchive.bio.net