I'm preparing for issue topics and I feel that my weekness may be concerned with logics, structure, and examples. Hope anyone can point out these problems. Thanks!!TOPIC: ISSUE50 - "In order to improve the quality of instruction at the college and university level, all faculty should be required to spend time working outside the academic world in professions relevant to the courses they teach."
I was very surprised that a graduate student told me that all the courses taught in university were irrelevant to his work when I just began my university life. Now I realize that it is a common complaint, and there is a need to enhance the connection between courses and the real world. However, I do not agree with the suggestion given above.
The training we under in university is too academic and needs to be closer to society. Most of professors in China were educated by books and do not know about how things worked. In a recent survey, half of the scientific research in China can not apply to industry because they are too far away from the real world. It could be a waste of resources if universities do not prepare students for a real world. Therefore, it is important that the instructions in university are more relevant to reality.
However, making all faculty working outside the academic world may not help solve the problem. Most of the faculties have their own research to do except teaching, and a few weeks' leave can cause trouble. Academic world keeps changing all the time and professors need to catch up with the newest published ideas. Working outside may be distractive to professors. Also, the students in their groups might lack their guidance. I'm afraid that a few weeks' superficial working experience cannot provide the real benefit for students and universities.
Besides, this suggestion cannot apply to some subjects like math. Since this kind of fields are directly related to academic world, students do not need any practical experience. Thus, it may be ridiculous for a math professor to get industrious experience for his or her students.
If the suggestion's aim is to give students a general picture of how things taught in courses are applied in industry, I believe there are more effective ways. Students simply could get the first-hand experience by themselves. Schools could encourage students to pay visit to companies and take internship during vacations. In addition, instructors could make it an assignment that all students should do a research on related professions. This can be interviews with professionals, taking a look on real companies or doing surveys. Teaching by first-hand experience is more impressive and more effective than a instructor says about his short visits outside academic world.
If it is hard to let student learn through their own experience, then an instructor can invite real professionals to give lecture to the class. They are able to provide insights by years of experience, and that is what an instructor cannot do by only a few weeks.
It is during higher education that the youth know about the society. To better achieve this goal, colleges and universities should help students get first-hand experience or invite professionals to classrooms to prepare them for their future career.