Being a guest and a student in another country with a different culture, sometimes gives room for some interesting discussions. On many aspects Denmark and Australia are very similar towards the perception of the world; however I have discovered a difference that applies to a large amount of the citizens living in the subtropical Queensland of Australia.
A noticeable difference from Denmark to Queensland is the houses and the way they are constructed. I have had the argument with high educated academics, but they do not seem to see the need. What I am talking about is the need for insulation. Insulation is widely used in climates of low temperatures, because it keeps the heat in, and the cold out. This is economically as well as environmentally a good investment, because the money already spend on heating the house, is well saved because of the insulation. What is not well understood is that insulation should matter in a subtopic climate.
Let me try to explain: In subtropical climates, houses are like big refrigerators. The concept of a refrigerator is to keep a closed space cool. This is best done by an insulated cabin with a cooling system to it. If you leave the refrigerator open it will not stay cool for long, and the energy bill will rise dramatically. Houses in subtropical climates often have air-conditioning, which applies the same function as a refrigerators cooling system. When the house is not insulated, it is the same as leaving the refrigerator open. Simply all the energy consumed by the air-condition system, to cool down the house is wasted, because all the cool air is disappearing out of the walls and windows. Not insulating is not very environmentally as well as economically responsible. Even though it seems quite straight forward, the population and even academics of high education doubt the need for insulation, leaving the environment and the bank account to suffer.
The conclusion must be that whether or not you are in a warm or a cold climate, the same concept towards insulation applies. Either you seek to keep your home cool or you seek to keep it warm. I does not matter which climate you are in, you still need insulation to minimize energy consumption.
This article evolves out of a university community, where students sit in large auditoriums and listen to professors or other forms of lecturers. The main goal for students to attend these lectures is to be enlightened and inspired on a particular subject of their own interest.
However, even though it is the intention to inspire and enlighten the student, it is sadly not always the case. This is usually due to the lack of rhetorical skills of the professor. This does not mean that the lecturer does not know what he or she is talking about, but often the exact opposite, that the lecturer is extremely well informed about the specific subject. However being well informed and holding several PHD’s in a current subject does not equal excellent rhetorical skills.
A theory of Why
Why are these lecturers hired? This is mainly a theory and not a fact. But if you observe how universities take pride in expressing the titles of the professors they employ, you get the feeling that titles and accomplishment such as PHD’s and advanced education counts for more than actual real life skills and experience. These titles and impressive CV’s are highly valued in the world of Universities and are easier to show off online for the support of academics around the world.
It has consequences only to hire based on paper and sadly many of the consequences are to be considered negative. As already stated an impressive CV is not equal great rhetorical skills. A professor’s lack of rhetorical skills will usually result in boredom among the students, which leads to lack of interest. Lack of interest often leads to demotivation, which result in laziness and drop outs. When the exams approach, the students will perform badly and this will give the school a bad reputation. So what ended up being a strategy from the university management to attract the greatest academics, experiences a negative circular effect.
How to solve the Problem
The problem is rooted in how universities perceive themselves. Universities need to change their perspective on their product, from being the salesman of a 50cent sheet of paper to an institution for inspiration and motivation. Instead of putting emphasis on a professor’s academic accomplishments, a university should focus on the professor’s ability to inspire and motivate the students to learn and acquire knowledge on their own. In the end, a University is a self-learning institution and students are expected to study and discover knowledge outside the lecture theaters. Educating professors’ rhetorical skills are not an offense, but a necessity and should strongly be considered by the university management.
As a concluding statement: This example considers the institution of a university, but the same applies in private businesses. Rarely do papers and academic scores tell very much about the person possessing them and should therefore never be relied on exclusively.