Interview Questions on the Impact of Higher Education
The world needs focused people to spearhead reforms in various institutions and make the world a better place. A counter statement affirms that personal attributes and education backgrounds affect the performance of individuals. For instance, there is difference between two people who subscribe for different pedagogies. Additionally, they defer depending on the academic level attained. It is also true to state that application of the knowledge acquired in educational institutions impact differently on different individuals.
Hendrickson, Lane, Harris & Dorman (2013) state that academic institutions do not function in a stable environment. They observed that higher institutions such as colleges have failed to instill sound behavior and leadership in the students. This is an interview with a professor from one of the institutions to address the task of colleges/universities in addressing the issues of educating responsible citizens, services-learning and community-based learning, and engaging the community through democratic partnerships.
Hendrickson, Lane, Harris & Dorman (2013), assert that, if academic institutions functioned in a stable environment, the demands for leadership would be modest and hence vision, mission, programs, and policies could be on autopilot. Basing on this assertion, the professor was asked whether he agrees with the statement and whether his institution’s environment is conducive enough to grant students the autopilot attributes.
He responded that it is true that the environment in which the students interact affects their attributes. He continued to state that the institution provides a conducive learning environment for the students and hence there is enhancement of their leadership skills. He also stated that as a professor at the institution, he has observed several students who have developed autopilot attributes while in this institution.
Higher learning should exist for the betterment of society and the promotion of democratic ideals” (p. 179). In relation to this statement, the interviewee was asked to describe ways in which the college/university serves to make society better. He was also asked to state his thoughts about how the university does it. In his response, he asserted that the institution makes the society better by churning out competent graduates with the aim of encouraging their service to the community. The college also promotes democratic ideals by creating socio-economic learning platforms. He added that, students are allowed to come up with their own ideas about what they think is good for them.
It is evident from research that most institutions are altering the ways and means of learning and teaching to suit the current pedagogy (Hendrickson, Lane, Harris & Dorman, 2013). Referring to the reading, the professor was asked to outline the changes that the institution has made to ensure that it offers quality education to the students. He promptly affirmed that the institution has revisited the curriculum and teaching practices to identify the areas of improvement. In addition to the information, he affirmed that the university has strengthened its information and technology department to equip the students with current technical skills. He was also requested to analyze the statement by Hendrickson, Lane, Harris & Dorman (2013) who discovered that most students lose their focus because some of the activities they come across while in college or university impact negatively on their lives. With reference to the authors’ opinion, the professor had to state the reality of the statement. He was also required to list some of the activities in the school that can impact negatively on the students. In his response, he was prompt to state that it is true there are acts of misconduct that affect the social lives of student. Some of them include alcoholism and drug abuse. However, he reiterated that the students’ moral standards are relatively high in his institution. His answer was very exhaustive and therefore he was asked to respond to the allegation that the greatest motivation of students in higher education institutions is the economic benefit that they gain after they graduate and get employed (Cunningham, n.d). When asked to declare his position on this matter, and whether the income-oriented motivation is responsible for the incompetence of most graduates, he said it is true that benefits motivate students to attend higher learning institutions. He added that his institution helps students to develop a framework that will deviate their minds from benefit-oriented thoughts. With his experience in the institution, he asserted that he has never witnessed a single case of misconduct triggered by financial motivation.
The point of reference for the next question was based on the necessity for higher learning institutions to equip their students with community service abilities to enhance cohesion in the community. The institutions are also required to embrace the culture of community-student cooperation to influence the spirit of nationalism, belonging, and development in the community. When asked whether the institution has managed to promote community-student ties, and whether the community service programs are relevant to the student, he chipped in by stating that the institution has managed to promote student-community ties. He added that, with the service in place, statistics indicate that students derive knowledge from the community service programs.
The community-institution relationships are important and should be encourage. To seek his opinion on the community service, the professor was requested to state his position on whether the community appreciates the services offered by his institution. Although the question was quite awkward, the professor responded by saying that the institution always receives positive feedback from the supervisors of the project about the success of the services. He referred to the affirmative statement by (Glaeser, Ponzeto & Shleifer who stated that, by empowering students through civic education, institutions are keen to enhance the participation of students in democracy regimes). The interviewee was asked to give his opinion on the relationship between student empowerment and the institution, and how it enhances democracy. His response was that the institution empowers students to develop democratic minds. From the answer, it was concluded that it is good for students to make their own decisions and hence the institution motivates these democratic regimes.
According to Hendrickson, Lane, Harris & Dorman (2013), institutional leaders seek to foster democratic partnerships with myriad constituents. The professor was asked to state whether his institution fosters such partnerships, and what he thinks the institution does to strengthen the partnership without compromising academics. On the same issue, he was also asked to state the role of community service programs in fostering the partnership. He promptly stated that the institution is fostering democratic partnerships. To make the partnership possible, the institution has created a workable schedule to mitigate interruption of learning. He added that the community service is important because he has come across students who developed essential leadership skills by engaging in community service prior to their graduation.
Higher learning institutions are responsible for the lives of their students while still at school and after school. From the analysis of the interview, it is justified to conclude that the task of institutions is to input high moral values in the students and propel them towards realization of their visions and missions. Institutions can either enhance or frustrate the academic rights and democratic reasoning of students depending on the way they implement their curricula agendas.
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