Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Pedagogy Inc.?: The Humanistic Educator in a Corporate World

Dr. Angeles Placer.

Recently, National Public Radio questioned college students on whether reading books was relevant in their lives. A student by the name of Justin Cuadra, from San Antonio University answered negatively, adding that nowadays: “…you don’t have to think, you don’t have to use your imagination. Everything is given to you. It is in the computer”. I recognized his voice, his attitude, his words. I have seen the same attitude and heard very similar words in the voices of my own students. All of us who treasure our vocation as educators ask ourselves: what is happening in our society? What changes have brought this abulia? What inhabits our students’ souls and intellects? Why do some students perceive us as “the colonizer”? Why is our labor at times viewed as an imposition? Is there a national depression? What is their world of references? If there is no previous knowledge with which to relate the newly learned material and no time to make up for it, are we supposed to prepare them a Taco Bell to be picked up by the drive through window? Is the grade, an inflated grade, the only thing that matters? Is poetry or art relevant to their lives? How do we make them forget that they are not interested in what we are teaching and motivate them to learn?
In this paper I am interested in exploring how the transition of Universities from a Humanistic culture to a corporate culture has affected our job as pedagogues and how educators are dealing with this phenomenon. As a theoretical framework in my paper, I will use the works of George Posner (speaks of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation), Miriam Met (her theories on the strategies for learning a second language) and Schiefele and Rheinberg’s works on psychology of education.


Dr. Angeles Placer  (United States)
assistant professor, Latin American literature
Languages Department
Drury University

B.A., University of Puerto Rico
M.A., Cornell University
PhD, Cornell University, 1993

  • Humanities
  • Curriculum
  • Corporate culture

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)