Depression, Recovery and Higher Education: A Report by Committee Y of the American Association of University Professors. The Draft of This Report Was Prepared by Malcolm M. Willey

By Malcolm M. Willey; American Association of University Professors | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
FACTORS INFLUENCING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE COLLEGE TEACHER AND THE QUALITY OF HIS WORK

IN their report on College and University Teaching a committee of the American Association of University Professors declared:

College professors sometimes forget that they are expected to function in a threefold capacity. First of all, they are counted upon to increase the student's interest, develop his intellectual capacity, and expand his knowledge. They also share in the duty of widening the bounds of learning by their own research and scholarly exploration. And they have the third obligation of participating in the direction of collegiate educational policy.1

It is self-evident that effective functioning in this triple capacity calls for a high degree of competence and familiarity with the general and specialized fields of higher education. For the modern college professor, mental alertness is a desirable, even essential, characteristic. Human knowledge accumulates at an ever accelerating rate, and the college teacher, as an important agent in the process of transmitting the cultural heritage, must keep apace of the acceleration. A college teacher is not trained once and for all; his education is never ending, and he must have time to pursue it continuously to best advantage. The present chapter is concerned with some of the factors that condition the ability of the college professor to maintain his intellectual standing, and to keep himself constantly "prepared" as a teacher, a research worker, and a director of educational policy. The improvement of college and university teaching has already been extensively considered, in the committee report just cited, and no attempt will be made in these pages to traverse the ground over which that committee moved. Rather, interest will center upon some special matters that have relation to effective teaching, as they have been influenced by depression.

The Data and the Sample. It is not easy to obtain data that will reveal clearly how the economic situation affected the faculty member as a teacher. Furthermore, the important aspects of the discussion

____________________
1
"Report of the Committee on College and University Teaching," A. A. U. P. Bull., 19, Part 2: 1-122, 1933.

-98-

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