Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Myth of Objectivity and Professional Distance

Without really talking to students the best you can hope for is to meet their expectations. You won't be able to craft that extra special magic that makes them passionate if you don't talk (and listen) to them.
-- Kathy Sierra

There seems to be an unwritten rule in teaching that you must keep a "professional distance" from students. Seemingly the worst possible thing to do in most schools is to "side with the students". You arent supposed to listen to the students. You certainly are not supposed to ask them what they want. And you are NEVER to modify the syllabus in order to give them what they want.

This is one of those models that can only work in academia. Can you imagine a business run this way? Or a non-profit? Ie. "Whatever you do, dont get too close to the customer and dont please the customer!"

Yet, if you change "customer" to "student" youve got an accepted educational maxim.

Is it just me, or is something wrong with this picture?