The mutual obligation of education

Both students and educators have an obligation to be active in the classroom.

Daily Editorial Board

The first week of school has come and gone, and as we settle in to the somewhat depressing routine of daily homework and falling temperatures, it’s interesting to note the waning excitement in students’ faces when they realize — nodding off to the droning lecturer in front of them — that they’re in for a long semester.

It’s time we address the mutual obligation students and teachers have to each other: We are here to learn, and they are here to teach. And while it’s appropriate and helpful to our education that we’re respectful and attentive in class, it’s essential to our learning that teachers do their best to encourage student engagement.

While it is difficult to stimulate a 250-person lecture, it’s not impossible. And students want to be involved; we learn better that way. The teachers at the University of Minnesota are incredibly smart and passionate about their fields; it’d be nice if that passion was always shared with us. There is nothing more depressing than being excited about a class only to realize after the first day that the presentation of the course material is actually making you less and less interested in the subject. It is a responsibility of the teaching profession to get students actively involved in learning course material. Teaching styles that employ apathy and monotony are disrespectful to our rights as degree-seeking students.

Student involvement in the classroom not only helps develop successful teaching methods, it is crucial to our education and the development of our communication skills. The more we’re forced to talk in front of people, the better we become at it, and class is all the more enjoyable and interesting for everyone.