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GRE Issue: With Response And Flag Note



In order to improve the quality of instruction at the college and university level - with a response and flag note.

Issue:In order to improve the quality of instruction at the college and university level, all faculty should be required to spend time working outside the academic world in professions relevant to the courses they teach

I could wholeheartedly embrace the suggestion to teachers that they should work outside the academic world in professions relevant to the courses they teach. This is for the good of the following three aspects: 1) Make their classes more impressive and effective; 2) Stimulate the students to better prepare for their job markets; 3) Make the teacher's research work more related to practical application. However, I think the suggestion is a little broad, it maybe not be suitable for some special subjects, like the pure theory, like mathematical theory, in which professors have to deduce their models and formulas, or physics, where the professors have to stay in lab to continue the experiment of discovering the particles they have predicted.

Generally speaking, the requirement that teachers should spend time working in the related profession will improve the quality of our education and research in school, for the following three reasons.

Firstly, the teachers who have attended the practice out of the academic world become refreshed and are more active to add new materials and cases into their classes. Experience of combining the theories with the practical appliance in industrial field will allow the teacher to realize the shortcoming and limitation of the theories. Thus in class the teachers will inspire the students to think what is the limitation of a formula or a classic conclusion. The students, who have been bored with the pages of theoretical deduction, could be activated and will participate in the discussions. In this sense, the class of the teachers would be more impressive, active and effective.

Secondly, the goal of our college education is to prepare our students for the job market where the competition is quite fierce. But common sense tells me that most of the technical courses the students acquired in class are already out of date and the industrial fields have already adopted new skills that the students could not know in class. When in a job interview asked about their skills, students usually feel at loss and they think the courses they take at school are just a waste of time. Teachers, who have attended the professions in industrial field could guide the students to learn the up-dated skills they will need in the near future.

Thirdly, working in the profession out of academia for a period of time could inspire the teachers of new research topics which are more related to the industrial appliance. It often annoys the teachers that they could not find very proper and valuable research topic that is both of their research interest and also valuable to practical appliance. The reason lies in that the teachers are always buried in their teaching and research work and thus spend little time going out to see what on earth is needed in industrial fields. Such requirement will definitely solve this problem and make the researches of teaching stuff more relevant to the practical usage.

However, the suggestion is a little broad, for some special subjects, like the pure theory of math and physics, or other very spiritual subjects like philosophy and history. In these cases, there is no suitable profession for them to serve and the work of the teachers is usually very pioneering and innovative. And their significance does not lie in the current practical usage, but in the great breakthrough and a discovery that would potentially lead a new era in his field. Math and physics teachers should be encouraged to continue their theory innovation or their experiments in the lab to discover a predicted particle. Philosophy is also a special subject so that the teachers should spend time researching into the theses and the claims of their predecessors and peers. But there is no suitable field that a philosopher could work on beside the academic field. So in this sense, the school should allow more space for the teachers of these subjects.

Last but not least, to improve the quality of education, the school could take other measures also. For example in China, universities frequently recommend their students to do intern work in cooperating companies, or they are encouraged to do part-time jobs that they are interested in. After all, such measures could influence the students more directly than the suggestion the author mentioned.

In conclusion, the author brings up a good suggestion and will benefit both the students and the teachers. But to carry out the suggestion, special attention should be paid to the teachers of special subjects like pure theory math and physics, and the spiritual philosophy, schools should allow them more space to continue their innovative and pioneering work.

___________________________

Response

Thank you for mentioning your appreciation of the work that we are trying to do here. Your essay demonstrates that you can approach the GRE "issues" with the kind of critical intelligence they are interested in seeing. However, the major issue remains the number of language errors, and addressing that issue is just not what we do. I corrected a few of the obvious errors here, but then, sorry to say, gave up. (It's depressing work, to be honest). I think you need to devote significant time to improving your grasp of English grammar and usage. You can do that by reading through the grammar pages on the Purdue site to which I previously referred; you should also be reading good English prose daily. Reading through some of the other reviews (which I do not guarantee are error-free, but they are largely error-free) might help you do that while learning how to avoid some of the obvious pitfalls that students stumble into while writing these GRE essays. I'm sorry that we cannot be of more direct help to you. This essay will be flagged for deletion; we do this for a number of reasons, but it will allow you also to submit it to other sites that may be able to address language issues, but which have the same restriction that we have here (namely, reviewing only otherwise unpublished work.) Best, EJ.
Submitted by: zhangyang
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