Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
- After reading both sides of the argument presented in the text, I believe that universities are undergoing de-professionalization, to a certain extent. In an effort to reform the education system for the better, many states have essentially lowered their standards of education. This demeans the education given to students and asks less of teachers. Indiana, for example, passed REPA, and REPA2, allowing anybody with a Bachelors and a 3.0 grade point average to be awarded and “adjunct” teaching certificate. The reform also allowed any teacher to add certifications their resume. For example, a physical education teacher could become a special education teacher simply by passing a standardized test. Many other states passed these reforms, effectively stripping the teaching occupation of any of its former professionalism. I believe that in some aspects universities are being turned into assembly lines. Depending on the major a student participates in, or the university they attend, academics are still up to par. The coursework is challenging and the student leaves the school prepared to function in the world. However, there are now some aspects of university life that make it seem as though the school is just an assembly line. Online universities for instance, are easy cheat at in order to gain an education. Though they have plagiarism checkers, there is no way to check that the student signed up for the class is actually doing the work or understanding the work. All that truly matters when it comes to online classes are test scores. Written assignments are a part of the curriculum but often they account for little of the grade. Many students are able to make everything open-book, which is easy in the moment but benefits them little down the road. While it may seem to the school, as well as the student, like they are getting a quality education, what they are actually learning is how to cheat the system. Instructions may demand the student does not use their book but there is nobody there to stop them. Instructions may also instruct that the student does not copy and paste their answers but there is nobody to stop them from doing that either. There is simply no way to enforce an enriching education when it comes to online classes. The growth of online classes and adjunct faculty both impact the learning process and de-professionalization in a negative manner. Online classes make it easy to cheat, do not often provide a solid education, and do not require the concrete teaching methods that a classroom would need. Teachers of online classes are not taken seriously. Many believe that anybody could teach an online class because it seems that it is as easy as telling the students what to read, letting them know when a test will be available, and notifying them whether they are passing or failing. The only skills needed are typing. Adjunct faculty is a joke to the teaching professions. A BA in anything should not earn you an adjunct degree in teaching any more than it should earn you an adjunct degree in engineering. Their BA may have nothing to do with teaching and this can have a negative impact on student’s learning process.
- An instance in my life where I remember deference being exchanged involved a cashier at McDonald’s and I. The symbolism of servitude, or the symbolism of the cashier’s job, was her uniform, hat, and nametag. She was also the one behind the cash register, taking my order. I had placed my order and it when it was given to me I found that the staff had gotten it completely wrong, primarily because nothing on my order ticket has been punched in correctly. This made it the cashier’s fault. I was very annoyed. She was admittedly embarrassed and seemed very nervous when the manager appeared, asking what the problem was. She became flustered, offering that she was new as an explanation for my incorrect order. However, she remained very apologetic. She looked apologetic, waving her arms a couple of times in order to show the emotional labor she was under. I was under the impression this was not the first time that day that this had happened and began to become more sympathetic to her. Having never taken a food order, I did not know if it was complicated or not, but thought perhaps I could give her a break. To show my own emotional labor, I waved my hand nonchalantly and shrugged, saying that it was okay. In this scenario she was expected to control her emotions better. I overheard her being scolded be her managed after my order had been corrected and given to me. A simple apology is apparently enough for the McDonald’s staff but I appreciated that she actually appeared apologetic. I believe in this scenario that I was also expected to control my emotions, as I did. I was severely annoyed to begin with but calmly asked that my order by changed. However, of the two of us, the customer (meaning me) is typically the one who is free to express emotions. The negative consequences of the interaction were that the young lady got in trouble and was embarrassed in front of her coworkers. The positive consequences were that I learned not to be so hard on people in the food industry and that she saw not every customer is looking for a reason to yell at their cashier.