Higher Education for Business

By Robert Aaron Gordon; James Edwin Howell | Go to book overview

chapter 15
THE NEED FOR BETTER TEACHING

PROPOSALS for curriculum reform and higher standards clearly imply the need for better teaching. While this is in good part a question of academic goals and the quality of faculty, something more is also involved. Good teaching requires an adequate educational philosophy and an appropriate selection of teaching methods and teaching materials.


Improving Teaching in the Business Schools

Chapters 6 and 7 set forth some general criteria which, in our opinion, should govern the way in which students are instructed in the business schools. The student needs to acquire a command of systematic knowledge at as high an analytical level as he can handle, and then be made to put this knowledge to use in problem-solving situations that will help him develop the basic skills he will need as a businessman. In short, the business schools need to emphasize both "principles" and clinical teaching. The aim should be to make the student participate actively in the learning process and to help him develop for himself the problem-solving, organizational, and communication skills that he will need all his life.

Taken as a whole, the business schools do not live up to these standards. While a number of schools and a good many individual faculty members give much time and thought to improving the quality of their teaching, and while the situation generally is tending to improve, the over-all quality of teaching is not high. In good part, this is a reflection of the poor intellectual climate in most business schools. More specifically, the factors responsible for poor teaching include 1) the failure of most undergraduate schools to hold to sufficiently high standards, with the resulting poor quality of students and student performance, 2) the poor training and background of many faculty members, 3) the tendency toward overspecialization and, in some schools, toward vocationalism, 4) the small body of significant and verified generalizations on which teaching can be based and, partly for this reason, 5) the poor quality of

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