Students Helping Students

There seems to be a proliferation of getting college students to help teach students how to “get into” or “succeed in” college.  Stop and really think about that: a college student must teach someone how to get through college, how to “get into” college.  Is that really, truly the sort of education we want as a society?  Once in which those “inside” have to show the secret tips and tricks to get into it?

That sort of a situation certainly makes me wonder whether universities really are places of learning any more.  If they were a place of actual learning for those with true abilities should they not be more transparent and more open to those who actually have the capacity to handle university academics? Or, if colleges are already spread so thin as to not be able to support those students who do need it, should they have so many students?  What would happen if universities simply quit taking in so many students or students quit applying to universities and went into other career streams?

Next, how is someone supposed to gain that “experience” when they are too busy trying to tutor other students so that they succeed too?  If a student is doing full time classes and doing tutoring in order to either, make a bit of extra money or hoping that they can somehow use that experience in the future, that time takes away the option of internships and other work options that may actually be useful in accruing the 50+ years of experience required for entry-level positions.

All of these prior questions end up leading to the questions: why is it that so many tutors are needed and why is it such a profitable business?  It makes me stop and begin to re-think university.

Tests

Q: “What do I have to know for the final.”

A: If you’re asking this question you need to know more than you can possibly learn in the week from this last class to when the final is.

About as simple as I can make this situation, but I like to write so I’ll flesh this out a bit.

My understanding is this: Tests (or more specifically exams) are activities which instructors use in order to test a student’s knowledge of the subject manner which they are supposed to have been studying.  This in my opinion implies that a student has actually been studying the subject manner that the instructor has been going over.  This implication then means that a student must actually know everything of the subject manner in order to be prepared for the final meaning a student should have already studied and know all of the material fairly well by the time the final comes up.

What I always see though instead of this is students wasting their time and the instructor’s time in class not dealing with any of the subject matter at all until two weeks before a test or exam comes up.  Suddenly everyone starts to worry about their grades, their understanding of the material and what the subject matter is of the class even. Questions like the above are asked in class wasting even more time for the class and the instructor.

Instead of wasting the time of everyone involved, why don’t we actually pay attention in class? Or better yet why don’t we just get rid of the classes and give us the books to read and the students deal with everything from there, it would be more efficient really.