I guess when it comes to teaching, I am an old fuddy-duddy. I believe that those who carry the title of teacher or professor belong in the classroom. Of course, at the university level, professors are also supposed to engage in research and publishing. The reality is that many classes in universities are conducted by interns and graduate students while the professor is off digging under the pyramids or writing a book on the Cambodian influence on German literature. I get that. Of course, it doesn't pertain to me because I'm just a simple guy who grabbed a chance to get a masters degree late in my 40s. Thus, you will always find me in my UCI-Ext class teaching English as a second language at the appointed time.
But did you know that at UC Irvine (and UCLA), your kids may be taking classes taught by fellow undergraduate students?
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And who thought up this brilliant idea? Apparently, according to my inside sources, that would be the dean of undergraduate education, Sharon V Salinger, who reportedly got this bad idea from what they were doing at UCLA.
Sharon V. Salinger
Dean of undergraduate education
I got a bulletin for Dean Salinger: Parents don't pay $10,000-30,000 a year to have their kids sit in classes taught by their fellow undergraduates. They pay to have their kids taught by professors (which is bad enough).
I also note that one of the courses is taught under the supervision of pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel activist Professor Mark LeVine. It concerns the "misinformation" about the Middle East coming from the media. God only knows what comes out of that class, but here's a clue.
"Course Description: To fully comprehend the world around you, it is advantageous to be familiar with where your information comes from. The Middle East is a hotbed of turmoil; it seems that the media dwells more on that region than any other part of the world. The problem is that much of the coverage of the region, regardless of whether it is produced in the West or Muslim world, features biased and inaccurate information that bombard viewers, listeners and readers. This seminar hopes to help us understand what are the most common of these biases and misperceptions and what may account for them."
Misperception in Benghazi Mark LeVine
And what a coincidence! This weekend, I am off to Mesa, Arizona to watch my beloved Cubbies in spring training. Armed with this latest info, I figure I can talk them into letting me play a couple of innings at second base.