Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Professor says students ill prepared to use knowledge wisely

Cynthia Fukami says that for too long educators have focused on teaching instead of learning.

And the problem with that? 

“It results in graduating students who may have knowledge, but don’t know how to use that knowledge wisely,” says Fukami, a Daniels College of Business management professor, who’s been described as a long-term champion for teaching and learning.

“Wisdom gets shared when teachers are willing and able to act as role models so that students are better able to link theory and practice,” she says. “Simply put, professors neglect to develop wisdom in their students for a number of reasons.” 

She cites four problems: teaching’s low status, courses overly packed with content, competitive classroom climates that cause students to take fewer chances, and excluding the “whole student” from classes.

The solution?

Raising the status of teaching and instructive choices that support wisdom, she says, along with more cooperative learning, measurement of learning outcomes, internships, team teaching and teaching of values. 

Teaching is not just an activity at Daniels, she says, but rather a “scholarly activity” for faculty.

Fukami is a fellow of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and was a Carnegie Scholar for the Carnegie Teaching Academy. 

She says she looks forward to speaking at the alumni symposium Oct. 5–6 on Can Wisdom Be Taught? It’s “always a good thing to connect with our alums and for the University to support lifelong learning,” Fukami says.

The symposium is open to all alumni; the registration fee is $100 and includes attendance at both keynotes, faculty seminars and all meals during the event. Call 1-800-871-3822 for more information, or for a complete schedule, descriptions of the presentations and online registration.

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