ERIC Number: ED368258
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Systems Theory in the Ivory Tower.
Hensley, Wayne E.
This paper examines some prominent criticisms of higher education and contends that systems theory is a means of understanding the nature of the problems by taking into account the complexity of interconnections among several factors. Problems discussed include: (1) inflated grades awarded to today's university students do not reflect their true abilities; (2) many university graduates cannot write coherent sentences or express themselves orally; and (3) today's young executives lack the work ethic. The problem of grade inflation is traced to the use of student evaluations of faculty performance, whereby students receiving higher grades tend to submit higher evaluations for the professor. This has given students significant power in determining grading standards. Students' lack of expressive language skills is attributed to their talents not being developed because college examinations are generally objective tests that can be computer-graded. Students are not prepared for the world of work because their irresponsibility is infrequently punished. Use of college entrance examinations that measure one's ability to achieve, rather than specific knowledge, teaches students that there is a schism between education and the "real world." Several obstacles to returning to a system where classrooms are controlled by professors and pay raises are decided by one's superiors and not one's students are cited. (Contains 20 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Speech Communication Association (Miami, FL, November 18-21, 1993). Document contains light type.