Why lecturers should be grateful to students

13 February 2015

If as academics we ever feel out of touch or adrift from our moral selves, then our students can guide us back to the shore.

When applying for an award, Dr Kim Huynh discovered something that isn't widely acknowledged - that lecturers can learn from students. In the new ANU Reporter, Dr Huynh explains how this is possible.

"Last year I was nominated by ANU for a national teaching award. In putting together the application I realised that, over the years, students have taught me far more than I have ever taught them.

Before I elaborate, let’s get some lecturer groanings out of the way. Students, it is sometimes said, are not what they used to be and they were probably never that great. They have little interest in their studies and the life of the mind. For them, university is a high-end boarding school and a low-end resort, its primary purpose being to appeal to their privileged sensibilities.

So goes the disaffected lecturer’s logic: the more I advance the more distant I become from each student intake. And I grow weary of explaining the same thing over and over. This inhibits my research, which is the true mark of intellect. Teaching is such a drag."

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