|WHY GO TO COLLEGE?|
Anne Matthews takes your questions on what really goes on within campus walls....
May 27, 1997
in this forum:
To what extent do social, moral and political biases of faculty and administrators direct a college's budget? What is the purpose of a core curriculum? Do the present cost differentials between private and state universities and community colleges perpetuate inequality ? Are there any substantial college reform proposals ? Why is a professor's research encouraged more than his or her teaching skills? How does grade inflation effect the quality of education at prestigious universities? Additional comments....
May 1, 1997:
A discussion on the rising cost of higher education .
February 10, 1997
Experts discuss President Clinton's plans for college tuition assistance.
December 26, 1996
A NewsHour panel scrutinizes the Democrat's plans for the 105th Congress' education initiatives.
Financial aid links for higher education.
Susan Thomas of Mauldin, SC, asks:
Hi, Ms. Matthews! I saw your interview on "Booknotes" and very much appreciate the orientation of your book. As someone who is just now finishing up a doctoral commitment that took all I could give in and much cooperation from an understanding and excellent faculty because of my need for much remedial work, I'm very much interested in the opportunities for an emerging information age to return interactivity and exchange to the learning experience ... How, if at all, do you see our emerging information and global economy affecting our educational processes and the happiness people can have in terms of development their abilities and using them?
Anne Matthews responds:
Interactivity- both in the sense of distance learning, and in the sense of more personal attention for the individual student-is a very hot topic these days; the University of Maine system, among others, has seen major fights over the funding and philosophy of education that largely does away with the physical classroom.
Learning by video hookup and e-mail can be a terrible rip-off, if faculty won't invest the time-- but when an instructor is both conscientious and computer-literate, it can mean superb education. If students and teachers are both willing, and patient about server crashes and such, you can actually get much more instruction for your money than if you'd signed up for a conventional lecture-and-discussion-section economics class with an enrollment of 800.
E-mail, especially, is a great teaching tool: you can ask for--and get--extra attention from faculty re career advice, questions about the reading, or just the freedom and privacy to bounce around ideas.
Some courses now have newsgroups, where people post queries and respond to each other's ideas; professors are finding that online discussion is often freer and franker than classroom talk, since in cyberspace no one knows if you are female, male, black, red, typing from your wheelchair or from a kitchen late at night.
Interactive learning is especially effective for people working on an advanced degree. Not only are they usually older, and strongly motivated, but the freedom to work on assignments or fire off e-mail at two in the morning can be a boon to working people with family duties--the middle of the night may be the only quiet time they get.