Students and professors have taken to the streets of France in protest against the outrageous idea there might be competition in the world of academia. President Sarkozy has outraged professors and students because he wants to grant more power to make changes in the university world that would even allow greater opportunities for private universities. A major issue of contention is the perennial conflict between teaching and engaging in research which bedevils colleges throughout the planet. Sarkozy argues some professors spend time teaching and others engage in what they term “research.” Perhaps, some French or American professor in the field of education can identify a single piece of research that has led to widespread changes in the field of education.
There is no more backward group on planet Earth than college professors who work less than any other occupation, and claim they are busy thinking great thoughts which unfortunately never seem to get into the every day lives of people. In the meantime, French universities have overcrowded classrooms, professors spouting their usual nonsense about ideas that have no relationship to daily life. I write as one who has spent 52 years in education and can count on the fingers of one hand any idea that came out of the field of education that impacted the manner in which we teach young people.
Take to the streets, professors, students, and Sarkozy will each spout their own version of what they consider to be the truth. In reality, it is much ado about nothing. College education could use some real intellectual competition.