Ask the Experts

Facebook Flabbergast

I am sure my parents got grief as teens for watching too much TV. I get bothered for too much Facebook. Would you please explain it to them?

More than a question, your complaint reflects a generational shift. We have come a long way since your teenage parents watched some inane sitcom. However, they too struggled to explain its merits to your grandparents.

Ask the Experts

Student Sweatshop

Want to see something funny, tell your friends you want a job in manufacturing. Watch their reaction. Why do other students look down on my career choice?

Your career choice reflects a changing economy. We chose to discuss your dilemma and give you some comfort. Up through your father’s generation, everyone considered manufacturing as: dirty work, low pay, long hours, and unskilled.


The Classroom Matters

We greatly appreciate the thoughts that The Outlook staff writer, Katherine Jaffe, shared in her opinion piece titled, “What Really Matters: GPA or Activities?” Three main points framed Ms. Jaffe’s opinion: 1) grades should not define students; 2) grades are unimportant because of grade inflation; and 3) hands-on and work experiences are more valuable than classroom learning. As educators and administrators from two different content areas, we felt compelled to respond and offer some of our unified thoughts. There are no easy answers to questions regarding the relationship among grades, classroom learning, and out-of-class experiences. To be worthwhile, experiences both within and outside the classroom have to be transformative for students. We have seen students transformed through course readings, lectures, class activities, written assignments, and educational experiences outside the classroom. There is no one best method of learning for all students, which means that professors must provide a diversity of opportunities within their classes for students to learn in a variety of ways. There are many ways to encourage students to think in new ways about issues with which they are familiar (what sociologists call “making the familiar strange”), and to think about issues that they have never considered.