A tenure position is a major aspiration for college professors.However, can this have a negative effect in the classroom? Istenure, in its current form, a good practice?
Receiving tenure means that professors can teach until the daythey die and never lose their job. Major infractions such asphysical and/or sexual misconduct aside, tenured professors do nothave to answer to student concerns about the quality of theireducation.
At the end of the year, when teacher evaluations are filled out,students have no hope of affecting change within their schoolconcerning a tenure professor’s ability in the classroom. This canbe a problem when professors are given tenure for reasons otherthan their teaching ability.
Too often, professors are hired and given carte blanchepositions based on their ability to do everything except connectwith their students. While a professor with 40 years of experienceis no doubt well versed in their chosen subject, he or she may havedifficulty adapting their teaching style to meet changing attitudesin pedagogy.
Don’t out-dated approaches affect classroom proficiency? How arestudents in the 21st century, from many different backgrounds andupbringings, to react when faced with professors with an archaicapproach to material? What are some of the drawbacks for studentswhen taking a class with a professor who is above reproach?
College students should always have a voice in the classroomregarding professors who are responsible for their education andtheir success beyond the classroom. This ability comes intoquestion when a professor has tenure and is not connecting thestudents with the material. These students may be inclined to giveup on the class and the subject.
Professors must remember that there is more at stake in theclassroom than their possibly vain and rigid approach to material.They must be willing to put their personal views aside in regardsto material and remember that they are not teaching mindlessautomatons to be molded to one personal view. This is no longer anacceptable approach to teaching in our modern era.
The tenure process is a biased and fallible process that canhurt a student’s ability to affectively learn from teachers who aremore interested in keeping their job than in opening minds. Are-evaluation of the tenure process is one way to affectchange.
Maybe tenure should only be granted in five-year terms. At theend of this time, professors would go through a review boardcomprised of students and faculty, examining all teacherevaluations within that time.
It is an awful crime when students are turned off by materialthey once found enriching but now feel otherwise after being taughtby a professor who made them despise it. Respect and the privilegeto shape young minds should be something that is earned throughcontinuous evaluation. No one should be above reproach.