From junior college to Ivy League university, the level of teaching ranges from "great to awful," according to Richard A. Watson, who explains not only how to survive but how to profit from and enjoy your college experience.
To help students make important personal choices—what school? what major? what classes?—Watson explains such broad areas as administrative structure, institutional goals, and faculty aspirations.
Charging the student with the ultimate responsibility for learning, Watson presents certain academic facts of life: teaching is not the primary concern of either the faculty or the administration in most institutions; few professors on the university level have had any training in teaching, and even fewer started out with teaching as their goal; senior professors do not teach much (the higher the rank and salary, the less time in the classroom), and those seeking tenure must emphasize research to survive; and almost certainly, the bad teacher who is a good researcher will get paid more than the good teacher who does not publish.
This is a book about good teaching and how to find it. Rejecting the conventional wisdom that a professor devoted to research will not be effective in the classroom, Watson advises that you take classes from the professor you may have been cautioned to avoid.