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academic entitlement - Jim Huggins
December 1st, 2008
05:29 pm
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academic entitlement
'Entitled' students expect better grades for effort: study (from the National Post)

I have a variety of reactions to this study ... ranging from "WTF?" to "sigh ...".  I'd like to think that my students believe that their grade depends upon performance, not effort.  Of course, lack of effort often leads to poor performance.

Hm.  Maybe we're dealing with a simple logical fallacy here.  "Lack of effort leads to poor performance" is not logically equivalent to
"Good effort leads to good performance."  (Funny how often that discrete math stuff comes in handy.)

Current Mood: contemplativeprofessorial

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From:wibble42
Date:December 1st, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
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I agree with you mostly - though I will say that it does occasionally take students *years* to realise that profs aren't evaluating people, they're evaluating work, and sometimes the development of that concept is sadly a bit slow. I think some of it comes from the more touchy-feely teaching techniques that are being used in grade school now - that *trying* now counts for a lot more than it used to (heck, even when I was in middle school - 94-97 - we had a separate 'effort' grade). I'm not sure if it's meant to sort of make up for different learning styles or what - but even in my own teaching course, we're being told to consider the effort that went into an essay and how hard the student has (apparently) worked when evaluating it. The only problem is that while this process-based evaluation works (sort of) okay in the sciences, it doesn't really apply much in the arts - because it's so subjective in the first place. But that's just my knee-jerk reaction to all of this; I'm used to mostly being either right or wrong, good or bad (the answer is right, the work is right; the argument is sound, the sources are being read correctly, etc), rather than these odd shades of 'you misread the text in a way that really damages your argument, but you really tried hard, so I'll give you a B'.

There are two I'm surprised at - the bit about having professors get back to an email within 24 hours, and the big about the phonecall in class. With the latter, I would have *thought* that if someone knew they might get an important phone call, surely they would warn the professor before class? (we had that happen once or twice - ill family members, pregnant wives/sisters/mothers, that sort of thing - and it was fine). As far as emails are concerned, I have always been told (both formally and through the grapevine) that 2 days is normal to wait for a reply to an important email, and 5 working days for everything else. Don't know where people have gotten that *everyone* sits and checks their email every 5 minutes throughout the day. Even if I get an email almost immediately after someone's sent it, sometimes I consider my reply for a day rather than react immediately. I wouldn't (and didn't) expect any different from a professor.
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