Newsflash: Professors Fallible

When I was a freshman in college (or a first-year student, as we were called back in the PC 90s), I recall holding a reverance for my professors– even referring to them as “Dr. so-and-so.” (This in a college in which many profs went by their first names.) Jonathan Glater explores today’s students’ changing attitudes towards their professors:

Christopher J. Dede, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who has studied technology in education, said these e-mail messages showed how students no longer deferred to their professors, perhaps because they realized that professors’ expertise could rapidly become outdated.

“The deference was probably driven more by the notion that professors were infallible sources of deep knowledge,” Professor Dede said, and that notion has weakened.

Seems a good thing to realize, wisdom of the crowds and all that.

(Incidentally, this article, printed in the Education section, is the kind I never would have seen when I read the Times in print. Through the wonder of links, however, my reading range is broadened.)


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