The ongoing debate in the media about the proposed changes to the Junior Cert is interesting for all sorts of reasons. But one aspect that has caught my eye is the impression I get that many people’s perception of third level education is based on nothing more than a caricature.
Many people still seem to think that third level is characterized by the following:
- A mode of teaching that is dominated by lectures delivered to hundreds of students sitting in large lecture halls.
- The complete absence of any relationship between the student and the lecturer.
- A passive learning experience in which students do little more than assimilate the ‘wisdom’ of the lecturer.
- Extremely small contact times.
- Little or no oversight of marking by lecturers.
- Rampant plagiarism.
We’re not getting the message out there that third level education in 2014 is not what it was in 1984.
We need to ‘market’ third level as being more diverse, more accountable, more personal, more innovative and more interactive than ever.