Ellen McIntyre: Quality education

January 13, 2013 

Quality education

Regarding the Jan. 7 Point of View piece “The best college education?”: What employers want in college graduates matches what educators know should be the focus of higher education: deep learning, critical and creative thinking, ability to solve problems and high-level communication skills.

This focus will require much reading and writing, no matter what major. Unfortunately, in the name of efficiency, some institutions are moving toward more lecture-style classes with multiple-choice tests in online teaching that provide credentials for students but may not provide deep learning.

It is possible to have outstanding online teaching, but only when combined with the above pedagogies. In 10 years, I expect we will know which universities will be on the right side of history, and it will be those that have doubled down on these pedagogies. What leaders in higher education and our legislature need to grapple with now is how one gets a college education and who gets what kind.

As we seek efficiency, we must ask: Is this a college education I want for my children? Or is it an education good enough just for low-income students? Excellence should be for everyone, and we need to figure out a way to do that.

Ellen McIntyre

Raleigh

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