Leaning Communication between college students and professors.
“In 1970s, students prepared a teacher appreciation banquet for professors to express their thanks in general. They used this opportunity to get as many professors as possible to participate and get involved with the students. They even noticed teachers the date 1~2 months before and invited teachers with the hand-made invitation card. In 1980~1990s, it was held by speaking over the phone or posting the notice on the board, not visitation. However, I cannot see any events like teacher appreciation banquet, nowadays. It’s such a pity” said the professor, Lee Sung-ho(65, Yonsei University Professor)
Like this, Today’s relationship between teacher and student is getting further and further than 1970s~1990s. Moreover, many teachers memorized all of students’ names and it was common that teachers know the story of students’ family matter in the past. Their relationship used to be so friendly that students visited the teacher’s house with suit and traditional dress in New Year’s Day. How is the current address of relation between teacher and student in CAU? Why is events like appreciation banquet decreasing and why are so many students unwilling to participate in those ceremonies.
Students want the opportunity of warm-hearted human relationship with teachers.
According to the statistical data of tutor consultation frequency surveyed by Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training, 2008, the number of average face-to-face talk was only up to 1.4 among 3,735 college students. As the respondents told the number is for their whole campus year, it is serious more than we think. Also, as the numeral values of male students are less than those of female students, it is easy to assume that how the communication problem severe is even in the case of genders objectively.
Another statistic survey of freshmen also verified that they don’t like to talk with professors. In 2010, Suncheon University investigated the students’ tendency of consultation with friend, family, senior, expert or professor. The study showed that only 3 students among 200 students have a thought of talk with professor. Other students chose the item of friend or family the most.
These two survey results commonly show the decreasing frequency of communication opportunity between students and professors. What is the cause of this phenomenon compared to the past?
Increased amount of work makes it hard for professors to care about the students as much.
According to the school regulation (Enforced from September, 2001) for evaluating the teachers’ achievements, every CAU professor should complete the actual results in the fields of Education, Research & Service and Treatment. Fundamentally, a large number of teachers must register over 2 papers. Furthermore, as teachers should be appraised by 4 grades(S, A, B, C), they cannot make time for caring students any longer. At the same time, teachers should study personal researches and read books. Also it’s natural that they have to be in charge of more lessons compared to before, because they have to complete the item of Education in the Professor Evaluating System.
To find solutions to the phenomenon, Herald interviewed a professor, Kim Lee-kyung (the Department of Education, CAU). She is famous for caring and counseling students even the students from other departments have asked her for consultation.
Caring is different with the order of priority.
Herald’s interview with Kim Lee-kyung.
Q1. The wall between student and professor is so high nowadays. As an expert of counseling, what do you think is the problem?
It is because of the heavier workload for professor. They have so many things to do. And as they think the student counseling as a separated task, they do not serve caring for students faithfully. It’s certain that they think caring cannot be their main work for. It is not included in the Evaluating system. Nonetheless, I think another reason for the issue is because that there are many strict professors to keep the prestige as a professor to students. For example, in my case, I don’t care receiving emails from students late night. But, the strict professors feel bad because of poor-mannered students.
Of course, I want you not to misunderstand in thinking that every professor deals with caring students carelessly. Some of professors including me think that meeting with students is a main business as a professor. Although we are busy for assessment in Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and lecturing out of campus, we welcome every student who wants face-to-face talk even if we’re not their tutors.
Q2. Why do you consult the students and be a mentor despite your busy schedule?
For me, caring is in the order of priority. What is to say, I think the caring time is more important than other things. I think “If there is love toward the student, it is not waste of time and money”. Even during the last semester, I made a time and place to talk and share their worries together for 8~9 students including me, at the University Club. And it is based on my love for students. As “Spending time for students” is an important thing to me and gives me a lot of satisfaction, I always make an effort to make time. After all, when reading the assessment comment on me from students, there are so many touching stories. Following is one of the touching comments. “Professor, Kim. You taught me a lot of things as a senior of my life. As the name of subject, Education Economic, seemed difficult and I was frightened before meeting you but your kind lesson allowed me to approach the textbook friendly. Also you gave me an opportunity to feel proud of graduating Chung-Ang University because my last lecture in university was your lecture and showed me my dream. .
Q3. What do you think is the advantage of communicating between professor and student?
“I never cry in front of anybody. But, of all occasion the tears flow only in front of you. I sometimes feel and think of you as my mother not professor. But I don’t know why”. These are the words from students with tears in their eyes who talked with me. I think it’s because of my sympathetic listening skills that I always listen to them courteously..
The youth of nowadays have much more struggles than past because they experienced rugged adolescence. So, they often come to me to speak their minds. Listening to their concerns, personal concerns as well as career concerns charge more than we think. As I think each single assertive advice from each professor affects students find the right way, the communication is necessary.
By motivating students and catching their possibilities, they can get to know their potential capacities as fast as possible, of course.
Q4. Then, how can we make the relationship between student and professor closer than now?
There is a duty imposed to professors. A duty contains education, research and service. If you ask me what item is the most significant, then I could say the research charges for the most part. Communication and caring with students is not contained to the tasks of choosing who is a great professor in the school´s stance. After all, consultation was implemented as a career like counselor.
An identity as a professor does not contain a part of role of caring for students. However, it changed along with the change of society. As it was natural that home cares for the students in the past, the role of caring was wholly up to home. And the past university was only the place of teaching knowledge. But, the role of caring has been delivered to the school as you know from the news of school free meals. I can say it should turn over to the college as well. Even though we are adults who have personal identification cards, students need the help of colleges more than past.
In other words, it is time of transition period. The active help, preparing system for college, is necessary. The definition of college as the place of learning supremacy studies has already been demolished. I know that college already established a center, called ‘Job&Career Advisement Center’, in CAU accordingly. But, it only welcomes students who take action towards itself. Most students do not know and visit the center during the school days. In conclusion, except for the help from college, the one-way efforts from the professors are limited.
Of course, it is true that the active behaviors from students to professors need to be improved. Then, the communication issue between professor and student would be better in my opinion.
Lee Yun-jae(21, New Materials Engineering, Yonsei Univ) said “We are commuting with professors not because we are required but voluntarily, We apply for the face-to-face talk. However, it is decreasing because students like playing with friends more than with professors and have a lot of things to do nowadays. Also as professors are busy with studying, the number of meeting has decreased. I think there is a tendency getting further than past”.
Another interviewee, Lee Ji-seop(22, Department of Food and Nutrition, Hanyang Univ), said “Our professor invites a group of students to his office once in awhile. And he only talks about our career aptitude, not seriously. I think it was rather boring”.
There are few departments that students and professors talk a lot. Even students open a thank-you party once in a year and professors participate in the students’ camp or events. A department of Urban Engineering is an example. However, it was only due to the minimum size of the class that it was possible
Someone may say it is the subsidiary duty. But the place of communication by giving humane network to wandering 20s seems indispensable. Through the sincere advice from professors, they could gain opportunity to seek the course of life and direction. It is necessary that CAU students and teachers be prepared to tell their stories to each other and universities should realize the importance of communication itself.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >