Thursday, February 26, 2009

Snot out of the Noses of the Student Body

As one who teaches in supposed 'higher education' all I can say is 'amen'.

The issues outlined in this article are the same ones that are making me seriously reconsider my line of work.

The biggest bunch of whiny-ass-titty-babies you've ever dealt with.... especially in the 'for-profit' education 'companies'. Because they are far more a 'company' than they are a 'university'.

Student Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes -

"“Many students come in with the conviction that they’ve worked hard and deserve a higher mark,” Professor Grossman said. “Some assert that they have never gotten a grade as low as this before.”

He attributes those complaints to his students’ sense of entitlement.

“I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C,” he said. “That is the default grade. They see the default grade as an A.”"

"“I think that it stems from their K-12 experiences,” Professor Brower said. “They have become ultra-efficient in test preparation. And this hyper-efficiency has led them to look for a magic formula to get high scores.”

James Hogge, associate dean of the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University, said: “Students often confuse the level of effort with the quality of work. There is a mentality in students that ‘if I work hard, I deserve a high grade.’ “"

S & A really expresses how I feel on the matter:

Scholars and Rogues � An “A” for effort

What a professor did do was launch a study to quantify just how much snot runs out of the noses of the student body. Ellen Greenberger found that two thirds of students surveyed said that explaining to a professor that they were trying hard should count towards a better grade. It will be great fun to see this horde descend upon the workplace in a few years time and tell their bosses that trying hard should be factored into getting a raise.

They’ve been coddled and told that they’re special for their whole lives. Here’s a lesson for the youth out there reading that won’t even cost one credit hour of tuition: you’re not special; you never will be special…at least not any more special than anyone else. A few of you are actually special, but you’re not bitching about how you should get an A for effort because you’re special. It’s a big, mean world out there and you’re going to have to take off the diapers someday. Or maybe you don’t think that you’ll have to take off the diapers, and that’s a more serious issue than whether or not a professor gives you the grade you expect.

And I've been on this side of the debacle too.

The professors, however, don’t get the worst of it. From what i can gather, the administrative offices at universities spend a silly amount of time dealing with this issue. Worse than the students are the parents who call to set things right for their baby and have been known to go so far as threatening legal action when the university isn’t being “fair”. If Mommy is still making phone calls on behalf of baby when baby reaches his twenties, we can safely assume that teachers throughout baby’s academic career have been hearing from mommy about how the family expects their baby to be treated.

"Unaware" my ass.

White House Watermelon Email From California Mayor Dean Grose Inspires Outrage:

"Grose confirmed to the AP that he sent the e-mail to Price and said he didn't mean to offend her. He said he was unaware of the racial stereotype that black people like watermelons."

Prez has been getting a lot of shit done.

NPR: The Obama Tracker:

"President Obama has kicked off his term by making key leadership appointments, carrying out an ambitious economic plan and laying the foundation for foreign and domestic policies. NPR's Obama Tracker charts significant events and developments in the new administration, and actions the president takes as he settles into the job."

I don't know what, I don't know where, but I do know that I want to go there and I want to play.

NSFW. Via Fugere.



Carter said...

As a grad-student that is a few (not many, but it makes a difference) years older than many of my classmates, all I have to say is what is said here is so true. My parents gave me some great support, but they never called the school the whole time I was in undergrad, unless it was about money (back when they were paying).

Learn how to take care of yourselves folks.

JPW said...

I get a lot of 'I'm trying' and 'I don't understand' when absolutely not effort has been made. 'I'm trying' will get you a C-. My best students... I don't hear a damn peep out of them the entire term.

The know how to RTFM (Read the fucking manual).

binky said...

OK, the video is from Brazil. THere are five words on every body, and the contest is, in 2 and a half minutes, to find the most words by wiping the girls' bodies clean. The one blond asshole sends his wife a kiss before he starts. My adoptive homeland... it's all about the bunda (butt).

As to teaching, I started at the university level in 1992 as a TA. In the last 15 years I have seen not only the entitlement go up, and the helicopter parents become more prevalent, but also the cheating and plagiarism got through the roof. At one point, I failed a full 20% of one of my classes, upper division, for just grabbing massive amounts of shit off of free internet paper sites. Ridiculous.

JPW said...

I love your adoptive homeland, binky.

I stress to my students that I will come down hard if anyone plagiarizes. Still, most plagiarize. I spend more time on plagiarism issues than anything else.

We've got 2-3 generations of some ignorant motherfuckers coming along. Hope that trend stops with the current crop.

binky said...

So do I. However, I have a strong sense that many if not most colleagues (at least in my discipline) do not. And they do not take the time to fail people who do it. I even have an amnesty policy, which I have seen really work and turn some kids around, which is "if you fess up, I will give you a chance to do it over." How many people do that and how many people try to brazen it out? I have flunked doctoral students for plagiarism. It's horrible. Most of my peers though, glossed over, or wouldn't take the time to search it out. One guy I know takes this approach, if it's a A paper, but he thinks it's been plagiarized, he just docks it to a C, no time wasted on investigating what actually happened. So the non-plagiarizer who happens to write well gets an undeserved C, and the plagiarizer passes, which is all they want in the first place.

Argh. I should not get started on this topic.

binky said...

By the way, one of my favorite higher ed blogs deals with this topic all the time: Female Science Professor.

JPW said...

I can definitely see how profs just get so burned out with it that it would be way easier just to ding a student a bit and pass them on.

Thanks for the link, B. I'll check it out.