Professor and Students

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What is creativity? According to the dictionary in my computer, creativity is the ability to use the imagination to develop new and original ideas or things, especially in an artistic context. Ideally, any classroom in any academic institution should facilitate this no matter what subject is taught, no matter how many students attend, no matter what; there are no exceptions. To our dismay, this is not a utopian world. Indeed, there’s certainly a “gap between faculty and student expectations that leave the both parties unfulfilled” as mentioned in the essay “Creativity in the Classroom” by Ernest L. Boyer. In the essay, Boyer claimed that “if faculty and students do not see themselves as having important business to do together, prospects for effective learning are diminished” (p 83). Most of my undergraduate days were spent in vain. Barring a few courses I took, I never felt the importance of sitting and paying attention to the class proceedings. Only the obligation to maintain at least 75% attendance and the prospect of losing an academic year if I failed to do so made me attend classes. Even in the classes I attended, I could hardly maintain focus. I used to sleep or chat with the student next to me. If the lecturer was strict, I used to sit silently and desperately hope for the bell to ring. Indeed every session turned out to be an uninspired routine since I distanced myself from the teacher. Boyer effectively summed up the lecture method as it is in today’s classroom: “With few exceptions…the teacher stood in front of rows of chairs and talked most of the forty-five or fifty minutes. Information was presented that often students passively received. There was limited opportunity for positions to be clarified or ideas challenged” (p 86). In my undergraduate days, since every one of my classmates was registered for all the mandatory 28 credits in a semester, we used to have eight fifty-minute class sessions a day, six days a week. The instructors used to lecture...
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