Why is university education "boring"? Why education in the university, "boring"? My brother says, "Professor sits and speaks, he speaks ... and speaks only",,, ^ ^  What is the difference between...

Why is university education "boring"?

Why education in the university, "boring"?

My brother says, "Professor sits and speaks, he speaks ... and speaks only",,, ^ ^

 What is the difference between education in the University and education in the school?

Asked on by loraaa

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wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

The biggest difference between high school and university education is obligation.  Students in high school are forced to attend (at least until a certain age).  Students at the university level choose to attend.  They have earned and often pay for the privilege to attend classes.  Yes, some professors simply lecture during class.  It is assumed that students at the university want to learn the knowledge that is being shared.  They will listen, take notes, and learn the material.  Not every class is a lecture.  It really depends on the professor's style, the course, and sometimes the number of people in the class.  Yes, it can sometimes be boring, but the desire to do well and learn the information is more important at the university level.  Unfortunately, there will be many things in life that are not interesting but we still have to do or learn.

pacorz's profile pic

pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I echo everything #7 said; I also teach both levels and have had the exact same experience. College professors are not paid to be interesting, they are paid (in part) to transmit information to those willing to learn. Additionally, most college professors have not been trained in teaching methodology. They know a tremendous amount about their subject, but they have to figure out on their own the most efficient way to pass on their knowledge. K-12 teachers are trained to be teachers; they know less about the subject matter, but much more about the way others learn and how to create lessons in a variety of different ways.

A K-12 teacher spends a lot of time planning how to teach material and creating tools like powerpoints, games, worksheets and activities; that is part of the job. By contrast, college professors are expected to spend their non-class time doing research and writing for publication. The job descriptions of the two groups are totally different.

Additionally, in public school the teachers are trying to reach every student, including those who don't want to be there. In college, students have chosen to be there and are expected to act like it.

In public school, education is the teacher's job. In college, education is the student's job.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It seems as if you have had a particularly bad experience of education. I think there are some professors out there who unfortunately teach very poorly, and intelligence is not necessarily an indicator of teaching talent. However, I am sure that this is not the case all over your university. You might like to try and specify what it is particularly that you find "boring" about the teaching you are receiving. Is there anything you can do to make it more interesting for yourself, for example take notes?

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I teach both college and HS classes.  I would say that the college classes are more "boring" because we are expected to be providing students with a thorough education in the subject matter.  At the HS level, there is much more pressure on us to entertain students who don't really care about the subject matter.  At the college level, the students are there by choice and are expected to care enough to listen, even if we don't jazz it up.  I sometimes get criticized for teach my college classes too much like HS, which means that I try to inject more humor and liven things up.  Some students don't like that because they say it detracts from my ability to get more information imparted to them.

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

University professors these days are under a great deal of pressure to publish and to do administrative duties, because those, especially publishing, are how they get tenure, promotions, pay raises, etc.  In other words, many institutions don't value pedagogy or honing teaching skills, and so there is no real incentive for professors to focus on these things. That said, there are some wonderful professors out there, and I have yet to meet one as an undergrad or a grad student who didn't love getting questions.

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I guess it depends upon the teacher as well as the course. I had many lecture-oriented classes in college. I remember one particular teacher who positioned a chair in the front center of the classroom, crossed his legs, and rattled on about Renaissance literature for 50 minutes. Much of it was over the heads of the students, and he allowed little time for questions or student interaction. It is not that way in most courses today, although lecture does take up part of the class time, especially in literature and history. I found most college courses challenging and informative, so don't allow your brother to dissuade you from considering a college education.

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

What level of classes is your brother taking? During the first semester or year of many college programs, students must usually complete required courses that are general in nature. Because these classes are taken by everyone, they tend to be larger in number of students - which means less time for interaction between instructor and one individual student. That's what office hours and labs or tutorial sessions are for.

As you get further along in your college program and begin taking courses that are more selective and specialized to your particular field of study, there should be more opportunity for discussion and interaction.

lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

University classes do tend to be lecture-intensive because that is traditionally regarded as the most efficient means to communication of information to a group. The professor is the expert, and he or she is sharing that with the class of students. High school classes also tend to rely on lecture and note-taking, but there are more opportunities for other types of activities as well. High school teachers are more concerned with making sure that all the students learn the material, so they vary the methods and the assessments to better ensure that all students can succeed. University professors don't have the same attitude. They see, rightly, that if the student wants to succeed he or she will have to do whatever they need to do, like it or not; university classes can sometimes be a "survival of the fittest" kind of situation.

vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I'm not sure what university your brother attends, but that is not the way many university teachers like to teach or want to teach.  Many teachers want to encourage as much dialogue and interaction between themselves and their students as possible. Perhaps your brother's experience has been affected by the major he has chosen. In many majors, the goal is to get students as actively involved in discussion as possible.

drahmad1989's profile pic

drahmad1989 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Spicy touch of experince of life can decrease this boring condition of lecture.

wanderista's profile pic

wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted on

Edit: ... explore the extent to which this is true from your study of McCormac's 'The Road' and the poem 'Of Eurydice'.

wanderista's profile pic

wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted on

People see university style education has advanced and complex. Consider the subject of English/Literature;

A Year 7 student's assignment - 'Identify a key theme from your novel. Write a short story where you use this theme as a central theme to your story'.

A Year 10 student's assignment - 'Humans are compelled to undertake journeys when they can change their life positively' Write an essay where you explore the extent to which this is true in McCormac's 'The Road' and 'Of Eurydice'.

A University student's assignment - 'The intertextual relationship between Shakespeare's 'Othello' and Austen's 'Emma' is clearly evident. Write an essay where you discuss and compare Emma to Othello, considering the contextualisation of both texts.

As you can see, the level of difficulty increases dramatically. Students dislike this increasing difficulty, and loathe having to complete long, hard assignments.

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