Everyone knows when it comes to the class curriculum and the material that will be reviewed teachers are the ones who decide. They know what should be taught on each semester, the readings that should be done, and the approach their class will have. It has always been like that, and for a long time no one questioned it. However, in more recent times students have started to inquire about this. They have presented the need to participate in the decisions made regarding their class curriculum.
Some students do not really care about the material their teachers offer. They go to class only to pass the subject and do not get involved beyond what is expected of them. But there are many students who do a thorough research of the content their lecturers give every semester. They study the textbooks list and dive deeper into those that catch their attention. They look for topics that will resonate with current events. They question why certain subjects are still being discussed and why others are not. They involve themselves in the teaching and the learning process because they care to acquire knowledge beyond what is expected of them. These are the students who in the last few years have tried to participate in the decision making process when it comes to creating the class curriculum.
There are colleges which have student groups participating in the organization of every class each semester. These groups speak for the rest of their classmates and present specific subjects, topics, events, and material the class would like to discuss. Teachers do not necessarily have to take their curriculums there, but they are encouraged to listen to what these individuals have to say. It is a process that helps create a deeper bond between the lecturers and the students while getting them more involved in class.
However, there are teachers who do not like this idea. From their point of view, students should not get to decide the class curriculum because they are the ones who know best. They believe their experience and their knowledge is enough to decide which topics the class should discuss and which ones they should avoid. To them, students should attend class, do what is expected of them, and pass. If we are honest, those are the teachers most students do not like.
Besides student groups, universities have found different strategies to get students involved. Suggestion boxes, surveys, and anonymous comment sections are among them. These have allowed them to express their opinions, their wants, and their needs without fear of being judged or silenced. Although this is a more distant approach, it is a good way to make them feel heard and allow teachers to select those comments they believe will improve the flow of their class. It is a way to create communication between students and faculty; which is always needed.
As with everything, you will find two sides on this discussion. Those who want students to help decide the class curriculum and those who would prefer they do not. Whatever you may feel is the correct approach, you should always be willing to listen to the other side. By creating an open flow of communication, students and teachers will both be happier and more involved in class. At the end of the day, both parties want to be able to share their knowledge, learn from it, and give the best of themselves to that subject.
Where do you stand on this? Should students be able to give their input when it comes to the class curriculum? Or should teachers continue to be the sole decision makers?
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