Tuesday, April 10, 2007

the "kids these days!" brouhaha

So, Janet's managed to post THREE times on our little discussion that really boils down to:

* Sheesh! Our students are throwing away their grades because they simply don't come to class/participate. Who would do that?

* Do they think we're kidding when we say this stuff matters?

* Do they not realize that even WORSE than hating the class/hating the prof/hating the time/hating the work is that when they fail something that's a required class, they have to do it all over anyway?

* How can we communicate with them?

Here are links to her posts:
* Incentivizing class attendance
* A few more words on the class-attendance issue
* Is solving the absenteeism/attendance issue really a matter of framing?

Later today, I'll have some more to saw—mostly I want to address many things that have come up in comments. For instance, "why bother?" or "I never went to class and I turned out ok" or "you must have gone to a different kind of school than where you teach" or ... etc.

Just because this has been a problem with teachers and students for thousands of years doesn't mean we should stop looking for a solution, or wonder about different communication methods. And really, I don't think it's so much a communication issue as it is a listening issue, or a trust issue, or ... I don't know what kind of issue.

Have to get back to work now.

[edited to add: oh yeah, I'll certainly address how I can say things like this and still be totally ok with bailing on requirements for one of my grad classes a year ago, the one led by horrible-woman-who-shouldn't-be-a-teacher]