Professors should be given education training to optimize student learning outcomes

As a student here at Geneseo, it has become increasingly evident that the academic staff is filled with intelligent and talented individuals. This fact, however, does not always make them the best candidates to relay their knowledge to students.

College professors should be required to take education training courses for students to reap the most benefits from their limited time with them.  

There is a reason Geneseo has education majors and offers classes that teach the different ways people learn and how to apply these methods in a classroom. Knowing how to teach step¬-by-step and not just showing the steps is important in ensuring that students retain the information instead of just spitting information out onto an exam. 

Too many professors teach students in a way that makes sense only to themselves and to write papers, relaying information the way they would. It is unfair that a professor can grade and assess a student’s academic performance based off their biased understanding of education. It’s impossible to know that they properly taught the lesson if they never took a class on how to teach. 

There are professors, especially in liberal arts fields, that are good at adjusting to individual students’ needs. That does not mean that more than an occupational certificate and training should be required to be able to teach classes. 

The saying goes “those that can’t do, teach,” but what about those who can do? Simply because they can do the math, science, writing or research does not mean they can show others how to in ways they will understand. 

Colleges should make it their job to provide academic faculty with classes or workshops on education and teaching academics to avoid test- heavy classes, lecture classes that involve no instruction and just note-taking and avoid the “refer to the textbook for examples” when that is not how everyone learns. 

Students pay large amount of money, some going into debt, for this education so they should or at least be granted access to education from trained educators. You can tell the difference between professors who are masters in their fields and those who are masters at people skills, which are skills needed to teach at any level. 

This is not to say that someone without a degree in education should not be allowed to teach. There should be an educational process for those moving from their field to the teaching world where they are tested on their ability to educate and given tools needed to pass down their knowledge to future generations.

There are many patient and caring professors at Geneseo who try their best to accommodate most of their students’ learning needs. Still, there are horror stories from many others in all different disciplines about professors that do not take the time to break things down and allow students to process the information. 

Classes should be less about making a deadline, like finals, and more about creating a well-rounded, fully-educated individual.