Two things on my mind……….
Teaching and Learning
I have to confess that despite being very committed to my role as an educator, there has always been something about the whole ‘Teaching and Learning’ industry (for lack of a better word) that nags at me. Maybe it’s the impenetrable, pseudo-philosophical language that people working in that area tend to use. While I know many people who are admirably committed to the educational aspect of their job, and doing genuinely good work, there is still a little voice in me that wants to say all of this T&L stuff is overkill at best and simply covering up for students not applying themselves or simply being out of their depth. Or, it’s lecturers who have run out of steam on the research side and are innovating for innovation sake. (Validation, or lack of validation, of teaching innovations is a hobby horse of mine. ) Maybe it’s the word ‘teaching’. Is that an appropriate description of what we do or what we should be doing at third level?
The burgeoning Masters ‘industry’ needs to be carefully examined. For me, a Masters should involved advanced learning. There are programs out there that, in my view, should be called Graduate Diplomas rather than Masters. Sure, they broaden the student’s knowledge, but do they reach a level that is beyond the Bachelors level? I don’t think so. (In some cases, the initial ‘core’ modules can be well below even final year undergraduate standard. ) I think some clear guidelines/regulations on what is expected in a Masters qualification need to be articulated. They also need to be adhered to, something we tend not to do in our “Ah, sure it’ll be grand” culture.