Something “new under the sun” with undergraduates?

2 May

I have never been one to assiduously follow the changes each student cohort brings with them to the courses I teach. I am, perhaps, too inattentive. More often than not, I am awakened from my pedagogical slumbers only when I refer to something in class and receive blank looks when (or so it seems) the last time I referred to it students knew about it.

This year, I am becoming aware of something I don’t recall encountering before: students who either don’t even try to do all the assignments or who decide to do assignments “their way” and hope I will accept their efforts as fulfilling what I assigned. I see this sort of thing with 3 students who have had me for more than one class.

Now I am trying to decide whether I have merely been oblivious to such things before (or forgotten them) or whether this is a trend. The possibility of the latter–a trend–is suggested by my hearing of similar student practices that a colleague is encountering. Are students now “learning” habits in high school of not turning things in and/or writing something that does not meet what was assigned and still “passing” anyway? Perhaps it is merely coincidence …

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One Response to “Something “new under the sun” with undergraduates?”

  1. Mike Yoder May 2, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    I’m afraid you are simply encountering more and more students of the Generation of Entitlement, who have been affirmed since or before kindergarten and lauded every time they do something moderately decent. They have been graded generously for doing relatively little and assume they will receive such treatment in college. Some may feel they are entitled to do things their way and to be taught the way they want to be taught, rather than having to make the effort to adapt to different teaching styles, since that might be “unreasonable.” I was getting more and more of this before I retired, which was one reason I decided to hang it up. Best wishes, my friend . . . Hang in there as long as you wish to.

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