Monday, February 2, 2009

Teaching Dilemmas

The greatest affront a teacher can face is a student's bold assertion that they do not care to be any smarter (or more accurately, any less stupid) than they currently are. They don't care. Nothing I can say is ever going to stimulate or interest them in any way. It's to those students I have the most hostility. Here is something I found online which addresses this accurately, and to it, I say AMEN (from Vicky Newman's "Misreading the kiss: Teaching Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman"):

Students will not indict the exigencies of capitalism. For the pervading view is the cool consumer perspective, where passion and strong admiration are forbidden.... Is it a surprise, then, that this generation of students steeped in consumer culture before going off to school, treated as potent customers by the university well before their date of arrival, then pandered to from day one until the morning of the final kiss-off from Kermit or one of his kin-are inclined to see the books they read as a string of entertainments to be placidly enjoyed or languidly cast down? Given the way universities are now administered (which is more and more to say, given the way they are currently marketed), is it a shock that the kids don't come to school hot to learn, unable to bear their own ignorance? (Edmundson 47)


Anonymous said...

I wish I could remember where and who made this compairson, most likely it came from the Chronicle. The article likened education to weight loss. Just because one has paid the gym membership does not mean one will get in better shape or loose has to GO to the gym and be an active participant in order for changes of ANY type to occur.

I have used this compairson many times when speaking with (undergrad) parents who felt like their kid got little or nothing from a instructor. It has worked well for my own thinking too.

Till the time comes that colleges themselves fall in line with this very reasonable train of thought I'm afraid more and more instructions will be faced with imbeciles in the class room.

Have you seen The Last Lecture? It is a book but an actual lecture on line and it is FABLOUS and then some....I love you threes,

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