Wednesday, April 29, 2015

'Strategic Management' Prof goes apeshit at class but can't see that he's the problem

This is a rant from Irwin Horwitz. He teaches a class called ‘Strategic Management’ at Texas A&M. In fact, Irwin couldn’t run a bagel stall. He’s angry at his class because they don’t hang on his every word, are disruptive and can’t seem to get anything right. So he’s decided to fail them all – that’s right they all got an ‘F’. He sent them all a standard email, full of detailed, but unfounded, accusations showing that he couldn’t distinguish between reality and generality. I’d be sending Irwin an email – telling him that his behaviour amounts to gross misconduct and that his employment had been terminated.
It’s Irwin who is the failure here. Such little grasp does he have of ‘strategic’ thinking, that he throws the entire tub of babies out with the bathwater. He can’t see that it may be his inability to teach, hold the attention of a class, explain things properly, that could be at fault. He is the antithesis of a strategic thinker, he’s a tactical fool. If he were in charge of a business he’d never get near a managerial job, as he’d be sacking the entire workforce every time anything went wrong. He has all the qualities of someone who should not be allowed near students or workers.

Irwin represents all that is wrong with higher education teaching. It’s simple. He can’t teach. The poor leader who pops up with the clichéd bow tie, like Pee Wee Herman caught with his weener in his hand, doesn’t call him out but plays the organisation line - you can’t criticise a Professor, no matter how mad his or her behaviour.
This game is being played out in institutions across the globe. I'm in and out of them all the time. Slamming a bunch of kids into a box and talking at them about 'strategic management' is not going to turn them into effective strategic managers. In fact, it's likely to turn them off the subject. Around the globe hopeless classes in hopeless subjects are being slammed down the throats of young people doomed to forget it all.
Ask any bunch of students and they'll tell you about their 'Irwin'. Someone who can't teach because they can't communicate, hold a class together, explain things properly. This is why even the best of these institutions, such as Harvard, have such low attendance at lectures, at 60%. The students can tell you in seconds who shouldn't be teaching. Does it make a difference - no. It's a profession with the dumbest job title ever - 'lecturer'. The problem lies right there in that one word. To lecture is NOT to teach. You may think it is, but it is not.

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Blogger Tompsk said...

So many like him around unfortunately. Reminds me of one lecturer we had. He walked in after a liquid lunch and literally slid down the wall and fell asleep in front of the entire lecture theatre.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous BalancEdTech said...

I agree with your frustration with this professor, but it sounds like you too may be guilty of sending "the entire tub of babies out with the bathwater." Let's take each institution on its own, not lump them all together based on your anecdotes; "This game is being played out in institutions across the globe."

6:59 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

I don't take institutions on their own as I've been writing abiyt this for 30 years and look at strong evidence. Before you confuse anecdotes with data, here's some data.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Your site has several bookmarket articles from my blog - why don't you mention them?

7:11 PM  
Blogger Stevie Fulthorpe said...

Seen so many of these bufoons at Plymouth University last year, it makes my blood boil. Students are now paying £9000 for the privilege and yet the standard of teaching hasn't changed to reflect. The people responsible for maintaining the standards should hang their heads in shame; they are frightened to voice their concerns. What's the point of having their role then?

10:10 PM  
Anonymous BalancEdTech said...

We often mention your site when working with teachers and our site is primarily used as a resource for those teachers. We find your posts are great discussion provokers("21st century skills," social constructivism, creativity, and learning objectives).

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This professor had the guts to do what most of his colleagues dream of. Most four year Universities in America prepare the students for Nothing. This professor made a grand statement.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Anonymous - that's a muddled statement. If the system does NOTHING for students - sack the professors. His statement is simply a statement against himself.

11:16 AM  

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