Labs vs. “Real” Courses

One final Steve Gimbel note. Toward the end of his anti-lab post, he writes:

If you want to see a science professor get angry, just tell them that they teach all those labs to get out of teaching real courses. You’ll see faces get flush, veins pop out of heads and necks, and receive a high decibel screed about not understanding how time intensive it is to prepare labs and grade lab reports. They are incredibly touchy about this issue. Maybe it’s because it’s true, maybe it isn’t; but either way, it does mean that there are fewer science classes taught.

This is, I hope, the dumbest thing I’ll read today.

Really, this makes about as much sense as going up to a philosophy professor and saying “I know you guys teach all those free-form seminar/ discussion classes just because you’re too lazy to write detailed lectures.” I’d expect a lot of spluttering and yelling there, too, and not because there was any truth to the comment, but because it’s an ignorant and obnoxious thing to say.

The fact that he thinks this makes a point of some sort makes me dramatically less interested in anything he has to say about the structure of science curricula.