Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ACA: Chapter 3, Pt. 1

Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups

By Chandra Alford

In Chapter 3, the primary topic of exploration is how students spend and priortize their time while in college. Social development and learning seem to take precedent over academic interests and development. The selectivity level of the institution and its standards and expectations seem to influence the value students place on their academics. But the authors pose the idea that the faculty of these institutions can have more of an impact depending on the structure of the institution.

“It is faculty, within classrooms and beyond, who shape not students’ overall development but also their commitment to continuing their education. . . What faculty members do, and in particular whether they facilitate academic integration of students, is crucial for student development and persistence (60).” The pedagogical practices of faculty members are pertinent, because depending on which methods are employed, the academic interests and development of students will either increase or decrease accordingly.

What's one noteworthy way that the positions put forth in the reading concerning the impact of faculty on student "development and persistence" confirmed or differed from your previously held views on the subject?


B.Jeffery said...

The portion in this chapter that stood out the most was where it discussed faculty members being more approachable and involved. The example of the student being approached by her professor and being invited to a luncheon to discuss a book reading was especially noteworthy.
In my 8 years of post-education, I’ve had one experience that has come close. I had one professor that often exchanged articles with me that was pertaining to our women's studies class. She saw that I was eager to learn more and she introduced me to topics and encouraged discussions that we didn't have the opportunity to discuss in class. I will forever be grateful and can say that she definitely had an impact on my college career.
With that said, I think there should be more of those kinds of exchanges between students and faculty. I of course understand there may be fraternization concerns, but that comes with maturity. The average college student enters college around 18 years old. Legally you're an adult, but mentally you may not be. I think this more than anything plays the largest role in students not taking their education as seriously in the first years. Maturity has to kick in. You have to realize the overall importance of your college career before you can kick into full gear and take it for all it is worth. For those who have foundation, whether it is family support or hardship-driven influence, education being in the forefront may come naturally. Honestly, when I graduated from high school at 17, I was not college-ready mentally. I can't speak for all students but that is probably the case for most.
I think that more professors engaging the student's more, both in and out of class, could have a significant impact and encourage our thirst for knowledge from beginning to end.

Katrina S said...

I think professors who engage students in less structured discussions about the material are more engaging than professors who take the material too seriously. In my experience, I have enjoyed the classes where professors gave lively lectures and taught outside of the material.
Regardless of how the professor taught, I rarely talk to professors outside of the classroom. I don't want to be friends with my professors, I want them to educate and enlighten me and provide me with interesting and relevant information. If I want to have intellectual conversations, that is what classmates and friends are for.

Ajeenah Johnson-Brown said...

In Chapter 3, Gladwell confirmed my previous views on an educators impact on a student's education. In the past I have had teachers inspire me to do better, show me the importance of education, and bring back the fun in learning. These are the teachers students are more likely to work harder for as well. If you feel that anyone has helped you, this does not have to necessarily be an educator, you are much more willing to give them your best work. An educators influence can go beyond the classroom. One of my old high school club leader/teacher influenced me to be aware of cultures beside my own and to take advantage of every opportunity to hear people speak about their own opinions, even if their views are not the same as my own.

Maame Antwi said...

Before reading this section of academically adrift,I always believed faculty played an important role in keeping students at an institution, determining their success, and developing them into position (career) they are trying to achieve in life. After reading this, it just confirmed my beliefs. On page 62,the authors stated that "One way students can potentially be affected by the college they attend is through direct, positive interactions with their professors both within and outside the classroom." This statement made think because I usually see my professors as people that live in the school and do not really have a real life (although I know this is not the case). Just thinking about how much more I could learn from a professor just talking to them one on one as a person and not as someone that is grading me puts a smile on my face and I believe would be very beneficial as it would bridge the gap between students, staff and faculty. I think this school should have an organization that is focused just on connecting student with professors just to hang out!

Nicholas M. said...

I am a firm believer that faculty plays an important role in determining the success of a student. More specifically, faculty interaction is key to provide a better learning environment for the students. If students hold a "direct, positive interaction with their professors both within and outside the classroom" (62), that will allow students to feel more comfortable around their professors. If the material is difficult to understand, a student can approach the professor (with no problem) and ask for extra help. This will ultimately lead to the success of a student because the relationship created between the student and the professor allows the professor to be more engaged in that students life.