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Why do we need professors if educators are facilitators?

Recent educational theories from constructive learning theory to active learning and deep learning shift the responsibility of learning to students and degrade educators to facilitators. These modern theories emphasize that learning is an active process and people learn through their experiences. For example, social constructivism encourages the learner to arrive at his version of the truth, influenced by his background, culture or previous experience.

It is not rare in today's higher education and further education that a professor starts a class with an empty flip chart paper, chairs a group discussion, records brainstorming ideas, and concludes the lesson with a filled flip chart.

Having received most of my higher eduation in a conventional way of lecture delivery, I absolutely hate the 'posh' way of learning and teaching through discussion and brainstorming on flipchart. I first came across this new way of teaching in workshops and some one-off softskill training activities, which I think that this teaching method is acceptable. Until one day I had to attend a postgraduate course on learning and teaching in HE to qualify my post as a new university lecuturer. The whole course was organised this way and it was completely rubbish!

This leads me to think, if this is the future direction of our higher education, why do we need professors at all? What we need for a university course are just facilitators: technicians for the learning environment, a chair for group discussion (who can be elected from the class), a plagiarism detection software and peer reviewers for assessment.

I would rather my children receive traditional education.

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  1. This is great information – its encouraging to see online education is becoming more widely accepted and the benefits are backed up by a range of studies. www.gurukulamuniversity.in

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