Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Rebel Lecturer

I was very enthusiastic today to hear about a careless student who then decided to work hard and become an excellent student and then became a lecturer at the University at which he was considered a menace, a trouble maker.

He was rebellious as a student and still as a lecturer and did not hesitate to criticize and find his own ways to find solutions to the challenges he faces and communicator of knowledge someone who wants students not to be taught but to learn and learn how to learn.

The educational system in Jordan is in great need of people like him as most faculty members quickly embrace that status quo and the traditional ineffective educational methods (if they haven’t done so already during their high school or college) and do nothing about it.

Students are usually the ones who fight this alone, neglected by official authorities as the uneducated menaces, even though we all know that everyone suffers because of an ineffective creativity-killer educational system. It is inspiring to see that there are lecturers, i.e. faculty members who are supposed to be the system, actually opposed and fight for it.

This did not come at zero cost. The hero-lecturer faced warnings and managerial overrides in addition to the struggle with the other zombie-lecturers: those undead who can’t or just won’t change anything for the better, but yes, for the worse. And it is not not-bad that we want, we want excellent and progress.

As an undergraduate in the University of Jordan who is just about to graduate, I felt I wanted to blame him; why did not he make himself even more visible to other universities? Why didn’t I hear of him before? I would have been one of his most enthusiastic supports as a first-hand sufferer. I felt abandoned by one of my most needed heroes. But I understand the difficulty, especially in a country like Jordan, to invoke a change in what people are used to (let alone what a system is used to).

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