Prevailing dogma could ruin the academy and produce a generation of dependent, unmotivated, risk-averse students, argues Neal Curtis

Current dogma states that all aspects of society should be subject to the principles and logic of marketisation, and part of this dogma – which is gaining wider currency within higher education – is the belief that quality can be improved through the adoption of the customer model. Fortunately, at the University of Nottingham, the particularity of the student-teacher relationship has not yet been subsumed by the misguided belief that learning is just another version of the more transcendental relation of supply and demand.

Of course I believe improvements can be made to my own teaching, and I know my colleagues commit a great deal of time to rethinking lectures – introducing new research and practical examples that help students to grasp the material we present.

We are committed to student feedback and to new technologies, and are not afraid to rewrite courses or even entire programmes in response to social and cultural changes and the ever-changing needs of students heading into a competitive jobs market.

However, this is all part of “old-school” pedagogy. We do not have to think of our students as customers to ensure our classes are interesting, informative and accessible.

Read full story in Times Higher Education.

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