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GRE issue topic---faculty should spend time working outside the academic world


Zhongwen Xu 1 / 1  
Apr 15, 2011   #1
"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."

The speaker asserts that all faculty at the college and university should spend time working outside the academic world in professions relevant to the courses they teach so that the quality of instruction at college and university level can get improved. Considering the most kinds of courses at the college, I fundamentally agree with the speaker. Many courses have a strong relationship between academic world and realistic professions, such as software engineering, most of the knowledge in which comes from the practical experience in numerous projects among different companies. Spending time working outside the academic world in professions does help a lot for these kinds of courses.

Spending time working outside the academic results in benefits in three respects. First of all, given learning atmosphere in the class, with practical experience in the relevant knowledge, faculty can talk more actively and attractively. They can talk about how the knowledge sticked on the text-book can be applied into real world. Students often feel insipid in class because they feel that the knowledge taught in the class just appear on the paper when students participate the exam, it seems the knowledge has nothing to do with the real life. A course with much profession experience can also inform student what's the most significant part in it, what plays an important role in the real world. A course only with books and practices on paper would not arise students' interest in the knowledge world. Faculty who spend time outside the academic world really helps in this way.

Secondly, faculty spending time outside the academic world in professions can offer better suggestions to students who pursue for a career life more inclined to engineering aspects of their majors. Not all students will continue to have a deeper research on scientific way. Some students may prefer to choose jobs which large cooperations provide. These students would be eager to catch up with the requirement of the professions in the companies. Without working outside the academic world, faculty don't know the real situation among job markets, let alone give some eligible suggestions. Moreover, according to experience they get from working professions, faculty can set the syllabus specifically for the students who are more likely to look for jobs after graduation. Faculty who have ever worked outside the academic world can help their students outperform others in the job market.

In addition, after working in professions outside the academic world, professors may get inspirations from the working experience. Working experience can show up what's the hottest topics in the relevant field, what demands a lot in the real world. Researcher should also consider what they can bring to the society, and working profession is a good way to fetch these useful information.

Nevertheless, when it comes to some particular field, such as mathematical analysis, theoretical physics, artificial intelligence, which focus more on the theoretical part of the particular field. Even faculty can find professions a bit relevant to the course, these working experience helps little in their classes or their research due to little interaction between research and outside academic.

In sum, for engineering courses, or medical courses, faculty should participate in professions in relevant field. But in other courses, working experience does not have significant effect on the quality of instruction.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Apr 17, 2011   #2
This is a very good essay, Xu! You make a strong argument. Truly, educators should be held to a very high standard and then compensated accordingly.

Let's look at a few weird sentences:
They can talk about how the knowledge sticked on available in the text-book can be applied into real world.

... just appears on the paper when students take the exam, and it seems the knowledge has nothing to do with real life.----Notice all the changed I made here.

Faculty members who spend time outside the academic world really help in this way.

No need for 'ever' here: Faculty who have ever worked outside the academic world can help their students outperform others in the job market.

this information, not these information.
and working as a professional is a good way to acquire this useful information.

Use this term: faculty members
In sum, for engineering courses, or medical courses, faculty members should participate in...

:-)


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