Monday, March 28, 2005

Time to Take a Hike!

I believe it's time to get all these senile old buffoons away from the podium. It's ludicrous to see quinquagenarians and sexagenarians teaching young students in their early 20's.
Firstly, there is an obvious mis-match of frequency between these two age groups. It's almost impossible that they will see eye-to-eye on anything. I speak from personal experience as well as that of my college mates. Neither can either group understand the mentality of the other, nor will they make an effort to do so. This results in inevitable conflict. The younger teachers ,on the other hand, are much more adept at understanding the students. They themselves have just graduated and are more aware of the problems faced by students. Also, there's much less formality required when dealing with these younger teachers and so one can freely express one's self without fear of what may happen.
It is also foolhardy to expect someone who has studied sometime during the Korean War to teach young Computer Engg. undergrads like us. I mention Comp. Engg. here because the fast pace of advancement in technology today means that this effect is more noticeable in this field than in most others. For example, it is understandable for a 60 year old to be teaching Shakespeare to people majoring in English, but not for someone of the same age to be teaching me Micro-processors!
I have always found the younger teachers to be better teachers - both in terms of attitude as well as knowledge. Of course, this like any other rule is subject to exceptions. But on the whole it holds true. My top three profs are all under the age of 30.
What are all the white- haired oldies supposed to do? Play golf, maybe?


Visiting Nomad said...

Holding age against someone is rahter stupid. All you said is that you have been unfortunate enough not to have good profs who were old. The best prof that i had was actually in his 50's ... and if you ask that one under 30 prof you admire the most about HIS best prof, he will give you the same answer ...
Time to think ?

Arnold said...

visiting nomad - I agree that "age" per se is a terrible parameter upon which to base one's evaluation of teachers. But the point I'm trying to make [like you pointed out], is that in my case, the older teachers have been far worse than the younger ones in subjects related to computer science/technology. Even in these fields though, I'll concede, this might not always be the case.