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Recently I attended several meetings where we talked about ways to retain students and keep younger faculty members from going elsewhere.
It seems higher education has become an industry of meeting-holders whose task is to “solve” problems — real or imagined. And in my position as a professor at three different colleges, the actual problems in educating our young people and older students have deepened, while the number of people hired — not to teach but to hold meetings — has increased significantly. Every new problem creates a new job for an administrative fixer. Take our Center for Teaching Excellence. Contrary to its title, the center is a clearing house (信息交流中心) for using technology in classrooms and in online courses. It’s an administrative sham (欺诈) of the kind that has multiplied over the last 30 years.
I offer a simple proposition in response: Many of our problems — class attendance, educational success, student happiness and well-being — might be improved by cutting down the bureaucratic (官僚的) mechanisms and meetings and instead hiring an army of good teachers. If we replaced half of our administrative staff with classroom teachers, we might actually get a majority of our classes back to 20 or fewer students per teacher. This would be an environment in which teachers and students actually knew each other.
The teachers must be free to teach in their own way — the curriculum should be flexible enough so that they can use their individual talents to achieve the goals of the course. Additionally, they should be allowed to teach, and be rewarded for doing it well. Teachers are not people who are great at and consumed by research and happen to appear in a classroom. Good teaching and research are not exclusive, but they are also not automatic companions. Teaching is an art and a craft, talent and practice; it is not something that just anyone can be good at. It is utterly confusing to me that people do not recognize this, despite the fact that pretty much anyone who has been a student can tell the difference between their best and worst teachers.
1. What does the author say about present-day universities?
A. They are effectively tackling real or imagined problems.
B. They often fail to combine teaching with research.
C. They are over-burdened with administrative staff.
D. They lack talent to fix their deepening problems.
2. According to the author, what kind of people do universities lack most?
A. Good classroom teachers. B. Efficient administrators.
C. Talented researchers. D. Motivated students.
3. What does the author imply about the classes at present?
A. They facilitate students’ independent learning.
B. They help students form closer relationships.
C. They have more older students than before.
D. They are much bigger than is desirable.
4. What does the author think of teaching ability?
A. It requires talent and practice.
B. It is closely related to research.
C. It is a chief factor affecting students’ learning.
D. It can be acquired through persistent practice.
5. What is the author’s suggestion for improving university teaching?
A. Creating an environment for teachers to share their teaching experiences.
B. Hiring more classroom teachers and allowing them to teach in their own way.
C. Using high technology in classrooms and promoting exchange of information.
D. Cutting down meetings and encouraging administrative staff to go to classrooms.
1.【答案】C。解析：推断题。由题干中的信息很难定位，通读选项后，可根据选项中的real or imagined problems, administrative, deepening problems等关键词定位到第二段。文章第二段主要是根据作者的亲身经历来说明教育中存在的问题。该段第二、三句指出，虽然雇用的人员越来越多，可教育面临的真正问题却日趋严重，每一个新问题都会带来一个行政人员的新岗位。由此推断，当今大学行政人员过多，故答案为C。
2.【答案】A。解析：细节题。由题干中的信息很难定位，通读选项后，可根据选项中的classroom teachers, administrators等关键词以及题文同序原则定位到第三段。该段首句便提到，我们大部分的问题——课堂出勤率、教育的成功、学生的幸福和健康——或许可以通过削减官僚机制和会议的数量，而雇用一大批优秀老师来解决。由此推断，大学缺乏的应该是优秀的任课老师，故答案为A。
3.【答案】D。解析：推断题。由题干中的the classes和题文同序原则定位到第三段第二句If we replaced half of our administrative staff with classroom teachers, we might actually get a majority of our classes back to 20 or fewer students per teacher.(如果我们用任课老师来取代一半的行政人员，我们或许真的能够将大部分班级的人数降回每位老师对应20个学生或更少一些)可知，作者暗示目前的班级学生人数过多。故答案为D。
4.【答案】A。解析：细节题。由题干中的teaching ability定位到第四段倒数第二句Teaching is an art and a craft, talent and practice; it is not something that just anyone can be good at.(教书是一门艺术和手艺，是天分和积累，并不是任何人都可以胜任的事情)可知做着认为教学需要天赋和练习，故答案为A。