What are your students like responses
What are your New students like?
You pose interesting, yet, I think, troubling questions.I just had a
meeting yesterday with faculty representing the various programs in the
School of Business and Public Affairs at my university about revising the
general education writing requirement.One faculty member (Criminal
Justice) was complaining that her students writing abilities have been
decreasing every year, and was concerned about what to do.Another faculty
(Accounting) responded, saying that he has heard that complaint repeatedly
over the last twenty years.The fact that concerns about the
ever-decreasing preparation of students for college is so perennial is
problematic because it may say more about us (our age, our increasingly
specialized knowledge, our socioeconomic status, etc.) than it actually does
about the students' actual abilities.
Another reason I find it troubling is because the reflex reaction, often, is
to locate the "problem" in the students.I can see, for instance, that
increasing resistance to doing work outside of class can be correlated to an
increasing number of hours spent at work (earning tuition dollars).
Students who work, understandably, want to spend their homework time wisely.
I can also see that resistance to wanting to think critically about certain
issues can be a similarly motivated energy-saving reflex on the part of
students' who are over-worked and stressed for a variety of reasons.
So, I'm sure that you are seeing the characteristics that you describe in
your classroom, but I'm not sure that they always result from lack of
preparedness.Instead, it is possible that other material conditions are
impinging on the students lives in ways that encourage them to make
educational decisions that differ from the ones that we would have them
I work in a public high school and I can safely say that the characteristics you describe are exactly what we are seeing at the college level.It is ironic that, as we move toward more accountability and higher standards, we are finding that the students are completely unwilling to put forth the effort required to meet the standards.I teach an AP class with 19 students and currently two of them are failing because they completely refuse to make any attempt to complete work or study for tests.Even my high-achieving students have adopted the approach that homework infringes upon "their time" and then try to quickly copy assignments from the few who actually do the work or (an increasing problem) from the notebooks of friends who took the course previously.The students seem to have lost any sense of the importance of learning anything; they merely want the grade.
What are we trying to do about it?We are trying to hold onto our standards and to remediate students who are having difficulties.However, it is difficult to suddenly take a tenth grader and try to teach that student reading and math skills that the student should have learned years ago.Honestly, we have more students dropping out as well.It seems to me that the parental support for holding the students to standards is not there.Many parents want the school to take the responsibility for disciplining their students so they do not have to be bothered at home.I had a parent recently say that she wanted an IEP for her son to state that he didn't have to do homework because she couldn't motivate him to do it; she considered homework unimportant because "who does homework as part of their job anyway?"If this is the attitude of the parent, then is it any wonder that the students do not follow through in completing assignments?
Sorry to sound so dismal, but until some responsibility is placed back upon students and parents for pulling their weight at home, this situation is not going to improve and the move toward higher standards will be doomed to failure.
ProfSci@AOL.COMAlan D. Sills
I'm seeing a very similar scenario in my district here in north jersey. Its a
public high school in an affluent, 99% Caucasian area. I believe that many of
my students are suffering from "affluenza" (a term coined last year on 60
minutes if I recall). Cheating is rampant, the teacher is deemed always wrong
when there is a parental complaint and as you stated, the kids just don’t want
Out of curiosity, what kind of community are you teaching in? I'm trying to
figure out whether this is everywhere (depressing if it is) or if its worst
in the "best" schools.
I teach in a community that is probably also about 99% Caucasian.Most of the students are middle to upper middle class, but there is a significant portion (10% or so) that are low income by state standards.I think that "affluenza" is coupled with parents who do not want their children to ever suffer any consequences for anything. As a result, these kids are so coddled that they think they deserve everything and need to give nothing.
What I find interesting is that the cheating is much more rampant among the college-bound students.They cite "pressure to get into a good college" but somehow do not make the connection that they will not last (hopefully) at a "good college" without really knowing what they are doing in a class.What I find most disturbing is that the students do not have any remorse whatsoever when caught.The only spot of humor that I find in the situation is that they are even too lazy to cheat well, as evidenced by the take-home test I just gave where students obviously copied from other students who had different versions of the test (which I TOLD them I was going to do...).Pretty sad when you're too lazy to even read the question before you copy the answer...
Susan McClory <email@example.com>
Boy, are your questions timely.Just last week, our Student Success
Committee (an operating committee of our Academic Senate) that I chair
had a very interesting conversation about this exact topic.
One observation that certainly does not tell the whole story is that
more high school graduates are expected to go to college than ever
before.That means that we (especially here at a State University) are
dipping deeper and deeper into the pool.I have noticed the same
characteristics you mention and more.Students are not interested in
learning.They think a degree is something we GIVE them, not something
they EARN.The also seem to have highly over inflated opinions of the
knowledge they acquired in high school.
I often tell my new instructors that they will spend much of their time
during the first semester convincing their students that the really
don't know the material - at least at the level that we demand.We have
all experienced the grade inflation in the high schools and I really
feel sorry for the students who have been led to believe that they are
proficient when they really are not.
What are we doing to address this issue (besides complaining amongst
ourselves)?We are currently in the planning stages of a new program
called the Metropolitan University Scholars' Experience (MUSE).Just
another fancy name for freshman seminars with a twist.Students will
enroll in any of a variety of classes under this umbrella that will
consist of 15 students and a professor who will teach something he or
she is "passionate about".These are topics not usually found in the
curriculum but can provide an interesting learning experience.And, by
the way, with a 15-1 ratio, the faculty member will become a mentor for
these students.Along the way they will learn the skills and attitudes
necessaryto become a true student.
I'm sure this will not be a cure-all.But, if it makes a small dent, we
and the students will be better off.
Thus my questions are.
> 1. What are your new students like and how have they changed over the
> past five years?
In a word?Lazier.Also, whinier.I asked them the other day to look up
the answers to a few question, one per person in the class.Since there are
only 9 in this particular class, I offered extra points to find the answer
to the 10th.No one rose to the challenge.These are supposedly the best
students in the Junior class.No one wanted to get the extra points offered
for answering the simple question:What was detente and which president
> 2. What are you doing to deal with the changes your see in new
My immediate reaction to the situation above was to tell them how lazy they
were.But I have since decided that if they don't do the work, they don't
get the credit.I am hoping that a little "tough love" will move them to do
> 3.Why do you think the changes cited above are occurring?
I think they are too used to having people hand things to them.I think
they have been told so often how wonderful they are that they don't think
they have to do anything to get a good grade.
Recently I returned term papers.There was only 1 "A" in the whole batch
and his was an "A" because he turned it in a day early because he is a
member of crew and would be out the day it was due and I would not extend
the deadline for crew members.They had nearly two months to do their
papersand I was not about to extend the deadline since one person would be
missing from class on the day it was due.
Maybe I am venting as we approach the end of the school year, but I have
noticed this lazy streak coming on for awhile.This year, however, has been
Helmut Lang <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My current new students are as motivated as those in the past.
Indeed, in some ways they may be better informed and perhaps more
mature.This may be due to exposure to tv and particularly the
I can't help but wonder if some of the complainers are just loath to
take students from where they are in their development and varying
backgrounds. Instead they may have a preconceived notion of what they
should know or be able to do to succeed in their courses.Perhaps it
is just easier to blame the students.In short, perhaps some
instructors are infected by the "good old days" syndrome.
Thank you for your posting regarding "How are your new students different?"I
found the responses very interesting.I'm new to the world of higher
education, having spent the last 8 years working with at-risk young adults in
job training programs (the young people I worked with were mainly high school
dropouts, teen parents, on probation, former or current gang members, etc.).
It seems the skills I learned working with that population offer some
valuable lessons for me here at a small, private college.I don't know if you
want to add this to the web site or not, but I've shared this with other
post-secondary instructors and they said it was useful:
a) In teaching the group I worked with, I learned to shift my teaching style
to include various learning styles.I would never lecture for an hour, or
discuss for an hour--I may start with a lecture, move to a discussion, and
then have a quiz or in-class writing assignment.And that's not because we're
teaching the "MTV generation", it's just because it's more interesting to
teach and to learn that way, and it always has been.
b) You cannot lower your expectations.I would adapt lessons for my classes
but never lower expectations.I've had many groups of "remedial students" do
college-level work, with the appropriate coaching and additional preparation.
c) Even if they don't follow through, you must.If you have said, "You must
turn in all assignments to receive credit," then you accept no excuses and you
fail people who did not turn in assignments.
d) For students who simply fail or drop out, it is better to consider the idea
that they are not ready for college yet, rather than thinking that they're
"just losers."That "loser" may come back in five years, to your school or
another one, motivated for whatever reason to complete a degree or
The main thing that I learned was that (mainly traditional-age) students may
complain about it, but that they appreciate and respect structure.
In response to Ted's posting, I would certainly agree with his
observations from my teaching in outdoor education.Students
want to know 'the correct answer' rather than evaluate a range of
possible solutions for a given problem.This seems to be
associated with a goal fixation - let's get there as fast as possible
with the least amount of digression from the straight line.
Outdoor education requires experiential learning.Basic skills are
taught, usually to ensure safety, then they are practiced on a trip in
the outdoors, and other skills are 'absorbed' when they are
observed and practiced.Assessment takes place against
established criteria (unit standards) which are subsets of the skills,
attitudes and knowledge learned.
The downside of having these unit standards is that students
become very focused on these.From their perspective, the
program becomes assessment driven, and activities which are
not perceived to directly lead to assessable outcomes are seen as
The other factor that comes in here is the lack of understanding of
the term 'competent'.Students frequently consider that if they
have done a task once, they are therefore competent.Some even
consider that they can carry out a task competently simply by
being told how to do it, without even doing it once.
These problems are accentuated by the training providers or
schools who have contracted to teach these students and get them
to a specified level in a set time.They put on a great deal of
pressure to minimize time, and therefore experience, so that they
can compete successfully against other organizations offering the
same courses.A real example - a normal Certificate in Outdoor
Recreation (Assistant Leadership) costs about $6000 and takes
about 32 weeks of teaching and practice.A local polytechnic
offered the same course as a summer school for $900 for 9 weeks.
I also think that much of the problem is caused by
teachers'/assessors' attitudes towards assessment.Do we ask
open questions which require thinking, or do we simply ask
questions which have definite, structured answers?Are we
prepared to spend the time to carefully evaluate a student's
argument or would we prefer to place a mask over a sheet of
multi choiceanswers?If we expect students to be able to reason
and think, then we must make it worth their while to do this and not
trivialize their learning by asking recall type questions.
Another aspect of society during the past few years has been goal
setting.Many courses now include this aspect - find out what you
want to do and go for it.Ignore everything that you pass through,
stay focused on the goal.This ignores the incidental learning
available from slowly digesting information, investigating side
branches, smelling the roses.It's taking the highway, not the
scenic route.As the PanAm advert used to say, "PanAm makes
the going great."Are we really in such a hurry to reach the end of
our lives that we don't take time to enjoy the trip?Many great
discoveries would have remained undiscovered if researchers had
focused only on their goals.
One other aspect is the supposed focus of education.Education, I
believe, should be non-goal specific, and should encourage
students to investigate, hypothesize, relate aspects of learning,
etc.Training, on the other hand, can be focused on a goal -
gaining the skills to do something.A great deal of training is sold
as education.The focus in senior high school is often what job this
learning will lead to.Educational agencies focus on skill
development, despite evidence that student attitudes and generic
abilities are of far greater importance to employers than specific
skills for a job.It is ironic that, at a time when the amount of
knowledge available has mushroomed to the extent that learning
how to learn has become more important than learning information,
educational organizations have closed down the focus so that
learning has become more specific, relating to the knowledge
needed to pass and exam or gain a job.
Students are very perceptive (at least before they have spent too
long in the education system).They will produce what they see it
is necessary to produce to achieve at the level that we expect.If
we expect monkeys, we will get monkeys.If we expect people
who can reason, think, apply, learn and use information, we will get
those.We must make sure our message and expectations are
The difference between now and 5 years ago is that cellular phones,
beepers,and pagers take precedence over class!
Let me get on my soap box for this answer to #3. Bear in mind that I have 32 years experience and this is only my observations based on those years.I could write a book about my personal experiences trying to get thru school (Boston Public) and how I finally managed.I have no disabilities and a fairly high IQ, I just hated the system.
Anyway... for what it is worth.
I taught Primary grades for 20 years.The average K-2 teacher manages 263 basic skills per year that determine a child's future academic success.The average college student will have to master 6-10 skills that s/he will use for their career.
The root problem as I see it lies with the early teachers and then the high school teachers.Everything in between is socialization and practice.What we have had over the last 15 years and are now reaping what was sowed, is poor quality teachers."Water seeks it's own level."The average teacher functions at the 39%ile.How can s/he help my child achieve at the 95%ile? So you basically have the blind leading the blind and when there are no leaders you have chaos, which is what we are experiencing.Couple that with parents who hate the educational system because "if we were really smart people we would be doing something else and making money"I wish I had a dollar for every parent who told me "You are so bright, what are you doing teaching?" So these 13-ers (13th American generation) are the first generation that will be worse off than their parents, education-wise and financially.A tough row to hoe.
"Tom Marino" <email@example.com>
I was intrigued by the question about what students are like.In large part
my interest centers on my own hypothesis that we will see a significant
change in learning at the undergraduate level during the next year or two.
I teach first medical students and quite frankly don't expect to see much of
a change for another 4 - 5 years.
1. What are your new students like and how have they changed over the past
My students have not changed much over the last 5 years.Their attitudes
toward learning are summed up in the following response I received from a
student recently.The student said, "The educational system in America has
allowed students to succeed with sporadic bursts of pressure-driven
motivation to complete a task immediately before them and simply move on to
the next. Self-motivated learning is not fostered in American schools and
neither is self-discipline to study the material in hopes of understanding
and retention of the knowledge so it can be applied in the distant future.
Students are not taught these fundamental skills and few are fortunate
enough to have the insight or instruction to develop them on their own. So
often motivation for learning is a means to an end, viewing learning
opportunities merely as the task at hand and another step to climb and leave
behind rather than a piece of the complex puzzle of knowledge required at
the end of the path to be successful in the next."
So I am very interested in learning whether students are changing and
whether I have something exciting to look forward to in the next few years.
Margo husbyscheelm@HOME.COMM. Husby Scheelar
1. What are your new students like and how have they changed over the past five years?
Perhaps my perceptions are distorted because I work more with adult
students than with traditional ones, but my sense is that the level of
preparation of traditional students is lower, writing ability is definitely lower,
stress is higher, the level of fear, hostility and distrust is higher, the amount of
plagiarism is higher, the desire to get a degree rather than an education
is higher. Some have an awareness of global concerns and want to do
something about the environmental and social problems of the world.
Most--and I use that term carefully--are abysmally ignorant of the history
of feminism and of struggles for civil rights for non-white, non-WASP
peoples. Most don't know the difference between WWI and WWII and get the
latter confused with Vietnam on a regular basis. In some ways, despite the
fear and stress, a disturbing social complacency exists, one that is very
difficult to challenge. BUT, at the same time, when
challenged/encouraged/exhorted to expand their horizons and given a safe
space in which to do it, the traditional students rise to the occasion as
well as any adult student I've had in the past 5 years. Those who do rise
to the challenge are some of the most incredible young adults one could
ever meet; they give me hope for the future.
>2. What are you doing to deal with the changes your see in new students?
The University of Calgary instituted U of C 101, a week long orientation
program for frosh, something many universities have done for years but we
just began a few years ago. The Faculty in which I teach has begun holding
first year seminar courses in which interdisciplinary research methods,
public speaking and analytical writing are taught. Since first year
students tend to end up in lecture halls of 300 or more students, these
seminars provide a far greater opportunity for students/instructor contact and
encouragement in the scholarly processes.
My personal approach is to encourage students to see themselves as more
than fodder for the industrial machine, to give themselves permission to
dream beyond the concept of ultimate reality as "graduating and getting a
job" and to think beyond their own North American social complacency.
Students also need to learn that they can trust themselves. Parker Palmer
is right when he says that our educational institutions are institutions
that instill fear (cf Courage to Teach); students will plagiarize sometimes
because they are lazy, sometimes because they think instructors are stupid
and sometimes out of fear that their own ideas are simply not good enough,
that they aren't smart enough to say anything about Plato or Aquinas
or Hegel or Camus. They are afraid; they are in competition with every other
student for scholarships, places in grad school and for jobs. They are
defensive because they have been taught that they live in a "dog eat dog"
world and they will bite if they feel cornered, whether that biting is
evidenced as anger or as plagiarism.
Frankly, though, many of the changes need to be made in the K-12 area; we
get students at the age of 18 who have already been corrupted by a system
that denies their personhood, denies their uniqueness, denies the good of collegial
working and promotes competition and fear. We are swimming upstream against
a rather powerful tide and that tide is not ebbing at all.
3.Why do you think the changes cited above are occurring?
Part of the reason for the increased stress and the desire to "just get the
damn degree" is the fact that more of our traditional students are working
longer hours. The student who takes a full load of courses and works less
than 10 hours a week is an anomaly; most are working 10-30 hours a week,
and those are not the adult students with careers--those are the 18-23 year olds
holding down McJobs just to pay increased tuition, books and living costs. Ours is largely a
commuter campus, so perhaps this problem is more evident than it would be
on a residential campus.
Part of the reason is societal pressure to get a 'real' job--learn the facts,
get out and apply them. Critical thinking may be applauded by some
business people, but students see more potential in memorizing facts
than in developing critical, analytical abilities and the skills to coherently
I don't know what the situation is like elsewhere but my sense--and it is
*only* anecdotal, not researched--is that our culture is infantalizing our
young people while, at the same time, presenting them with adult situations
they lack the maturity to cope with. While advertising to 10 year olds
plays on sex, the 20 year old is still a student, a dependent, a "not quite
adult", old enough to vote in Canada, old enough to go to war (should the
need arise), old enough to drink alcohol, but not considered a 'real' member
of society. A BA today is what Grade 12 was a few years ago and an
MA is increasingly demanded, not for the sake of learning but for the
sake of getting or keeping jobs. As the demand for more education
increases, the age of the graduate will also increase and
the sense of still having only 'teenage' responsibilities may well delay
maturity in our students. I know that I'm generalizing here, but the
subject does concern me.
At the same time that we are teaching students the need to compete with
everyone else for every advantage, we are not educating them as to how to
take a stand, a real stand, to call something "right" and something else
"wrong"; everything seems to be relative and every idea is as good as the
next one and God forbid we ever say that one idea is absolutely wrong.
Students have a great difficulty writing to a thesis or even creating a
thesis statement. The idea of actually discovering and arguing a point and
proving that point, filling in holes along the way, is a frightening
prospect. Back in the days of the dinosaurs when I was in high school, we
were taught to do this. If it's being taught anywhere today, I'm not seeing
it. Philosophical relativism makes scholarship rather difficult.
And, at the risk of alienating every IT person on the list, I'd also say
that part of the difficulty is the way in which consciousness is affected
by the Internet. Yes, I know, the Internet doesn't kill brain cells;
individuals kill brain cells. It is not my intent to demonize a tool
which can certainly be put to good use. But the hypertext
flipping from one screen to another, the flat surface transitory nature of
material on the Net does not encourage sitting with one thought and
analyzing that thought for long periods of time. Minds impacted by the
jolts of the net have difficulty settling into approaching material that
doesn't jolt them in the same way. Again, I have not researched this. I
have only the anecdotal evidence of students themselves who talk about
their struggle to actually sit down and read and re-read and re-read in the
way that one must do in order to understand some material.
Russ Hunt <HUNT@ACADEMIC.STU.STTHOMASU.CA>
Certainly there’s something to what Margo says here:
Ø3.Why do you think the changes cited above are occurring?
ØPart of the reason for the increased stress and the desire to
Ø“just get the damn degree” is the fact that more of our traditional
Østudents are working longer hours.
But I think there’s also a more practical and immediate reason we
tend to forget: because of government policies, the students are
paying for the education – or at any rate paying a startlingly
higher proportion of the cost than they did a couple of decades ago.
This does do things: it makes them evaluate the education in terms of
cost-benefit analysis, and it puts them in a position where not
getting a pretty good job soon after graduating plummets them into
bankruptcy.Students here at a solely “liberal arts” school spend
their four years terrified that they’ll graduate with a McJob and
$40,000 in debts.
Definitely! And I should have said so.
An interesting dynamic takes place in our Weekend U classes in which the
traditional and non-traditional students mix in smaller classes and have
a great deal of opportunity to interact, get to know one another and
form inter-generational study groups. The adult students are very
understanding of the "graduate and get a job" mentality, but, in
general, they also point out the dangers of that attitude. They will say
that their focus on work has cost them in very personal terms and that
the expansion of one's mind, being open to lifelong learning, is
essential, not only for employment purposes but also for quality of life
One of our Weekend U graduates was an international HR exec for a
well-known oil company. His liberal arts degree has translated into a
greater understanding of the cultures he worked with and an awareness of
bits and pieces of culture that he thought had long ago disappeared.
While on a business trip, he managed to write a fascinating paper about
the international work of the Benedictines, interviewing Benedictines in
different countries, finding out that what St. Benedict began lo those
many years ago is still alive around the world. He came home with a
deeper feeling for the cultures and people he had met and he doesn't
hesitate to say so to anyone who will ask. This kind of encouragement
from the adult student means a great deal to the younger students,
especially since he is a successful executive. One of our classes had an
engineer come into one of the liberal arts communications courses and
talk about the importance of what they were learning. When someone who
is as concrete as an engineer encourages liberal arts thinking, good
stuff happens with the students and they can see the advantage of those
degrees that may seem "wishy washy" or "Mickey Mouse". If we could
connect more with the business people around us and have them
encouraging our students, they may breathe a little more easily and see
that they are, indeed, developing skills and abilities that will make
them valuable employees.
"N. Gee" <norman.gee@UALBERTA.CA>
>everyone else for every advantage, we are not educating them as to how to
>take a stand, a real stand, to call something "right" and something else
>"wrong"; everything seems to be relative and every idea is as good as the
>next one and God forbid we ever say that one idea is absolutely wrong.
Just scanning Canadian newspapers one might think that the only "sin"
in today's Canada is to be intolerant.I suggest that students don't
trust us enough to express any view that might draw criticism of
wrong-mindedness (is this a word?) .
That's why we have a responsibility to create safe environments in our
classrooms, environments in which ideas can be expressed and challenged at a
higher level than mere emotion and opinion. In class we've often debated the
word "tolerant", a word that one uses in relation to putting up with
something that is unpleasant, as opposed to 'understanding', which requires a
far greater hermeneutic than does mere tolerance.
My new students fall into two fairly distinct categories: adults
returning to education and younger students. Within the lattercategory I
seetwo sub groups - those with a strong goal in mind and those without one.
My community college has a strong vocational program that includes Health
Careers (up to R.N. level) and many programs that deal with jobs needed by
the various businesses in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Among these are a
machinist program, an aerospace program, a water resource program, court
reporting, ... In addition, we have our college transfer program which is
somewhat smaller than that program at other community colleges in the
district.For those who have a strong goal in mind, I see a willingness to
work though they often want to know why they need a particular topic. My
standard answer to them is that I'm raising their general level of knowledge
becausethey will always function at a slightly lower level and if I want to
raise that lower level, they need to raise the higher level of understanding.
When they know why rather than just what it helps them use the processes in
new and different applications. Then they are better able to problem solve
and be an asset to their employer.With my adult learners I rarely have to
make that comment. Many are just so glad to find out why they're doing
something that they comment about it.Of course, then there are the
unmotivated ones and I have seen a higher percentage of those students during
this past year especially.They seem to think that knowledge should be
gained by osmosis and if they miss class I should spend all of my time
helping them catch up. My philosophy has been that I am more than willing to
help as long as they are willing to practice and do the work I assign.My
feeling is that if you care for someone, you teach them the meaning of the
word NO before they are really devastated by life giving them that answer.
Therefore, I encourage them as much as I can, talk to them, and let them make
their own decisions. My own feeling, and I'll admit that it is purely my own,
is that these students have never learned that lesson.They have learned
that they can get whatever they want by whining, etc. It's time they were
taught otherwise.I am well known at Gate Way for bending over backwards to
help someone but will not push that help on anyone. I may speak to them
privately if I think they are too shy to ask in class, but refuse to push.
I don't know how much this answers your original question but it does
describe my students.
Catherine Sinclair <C.Sinclair@UWS.EDU.AU>
My students are exactly like yours and there is a marked decline in their
engagement in and responsibility for their own learning. Indeed ours only
turn up to class and then if there is an assignment due, they don't even do
Q2 We are in the middle of a restructure so with a rewrite of all courses
and all subjects we haven't had much chance to address the changes in any
coherent way- only through individual discussions with students about the
need to read, think and work outside of class- the need to be active in the
construction of their own knowledge and professional practice.
Q3 I think the changes are the result of a multitude of interweaving
factors: a new generation who is more demanding, self-centered and expects a
total individualization of their education to the point where they want you
to be available 24hours a day, 7 days a week (rather like the
supermarkets); students who need to work increasing number of part-time /
full-time hours to sustain themselves through longer study programs (4 -5
years); increasing numbers of mature-aged students juggling family, work,
study and other demands; university administrators who are reluctant to let
students change their study patterns from full- to part-time because of the
damaging impact that has on the government funding levels in this country;
the plethora of websites attached to subjects which give lecture notes or
overheads (so the students don't think that they need to come to lectures);
shorter semesters which give students less time to develop deep
understandings before final assignment/ exams and so come us for the
'answers'; reductions in class contact hours due to reductions in
government funding; and even timetabling classes so that students have only
one lecture or tutorial on a day (a problem for those traveling 1-2 hours
each way to come to university). Students tell me it isn't because the lectures
are boring or uninformative.
Deb Lukens <lukens@WCIC.CIOE.COM>
I teach an assessment course to undergraduate pre-service teachers, and
would have to agree with the comments made to this point about students.
During the past fall semester, the directions for one assignment in my class
specifically said that students were to do their own work and write up their
own work.I also said (in capital letters) that I did not want identically
worded papers.Three students turned in papers with the same typographical
errors and same scratched out words--they had simply copied one paper.To
make things worse, when they were unhappy with the grades they had earned,
two sets of parents came to campus to complain, saying the students had not
cheated, they had just ignored the directions.
I have also experienced numerous students who wait until the last minute to
begin working on an assignment (which is nothing new), but then email me (or
my course assistant) late the night before the assignment is due to ask
where to find something--something that can be found in 30 seconds in the
index of their text!They then complain on their course evaluation forms
that they were required to buy a text and course packet that were never
I would also agree with the hypotheses about the cause of this condition,
and maybe expand a bit.I think that our society as a whole has come to
expect information to come in rapid sound bites and to get answers so
quickly that a requirement to take the time to think and expend effort have
become somewhat foreign.I also think that grade inflation has played a
part in many disciplines, while not in others.
I know that I have become more determined to maintain high expectations of
my students and let the chips fall where they may in terms of grades.At
the same time, it's very hard not to get discouraged by the students'
apparent feelings of entitlement when coupled with their lack of investment
in their education.
Robert Blomeyer <Robert.Blomeyer@NCREL.ORG>
I've read Ted's posting and all the replies thus far.I really feel
unqualified to comment because I'm not (strictly speaking) teaching
undergrad or grad education classes any more.:-)
However... my seventeen years in "harness" left me with some vivid
impressions that may spice up the conversation just a wee bit.
First...I will assume that Ted's question and subsequent responses pertain
to undergrad students of the traditional variety; i.e. excluding
"non-traditional" adults learns who go back for teacher
preparation/certification by choice after experiencing life from other
perspectives.Given the question and responses... it's the only scenario
that makes sense. Please correct my interpretation of particulars if I'm way
Frankly... I haven't taught classes to undergrads since I left Ball State
for National-Louis University (Chicago) over five years ago. When I WAS
teaching undergraduate "Foundations of Education" and "Technology in
Education" classes to BSU undergraduate students... all the same
observations shared here were appropriate THEN that the respondents
seemingly attribute to "today's lackluster students."
It is easy to attribute differences in interpretation to atypical personal
experiences. Maybe my differing views are related to BSU's "unique"
cultural ambiance (an endowment from David Letterman to solely support
"Average Students" in the Communications Department, high standing among
Playboy nominated "Party Schools," etc.), BUT... I really don't think that
the undergrad students respondents are describing have changed all that
Apparently... neither have the standard complaints, stereotypes and "over
generalizations" that teacher ed faculty members are known to toss out as
periodic critiques of "this year's crop."As I recall, similar critical
monologues frequently accompanied one's wishing that they were teaching more
graduate level, advanced classes; as opposed to high enrollment, undergrad
teacher ed service courses...
I spent the last five years as an Associate Professor teaching masters level
courses in a very demanding, advanced Technology in Education degree program
at National-Louis University in Chicago. The students I worked with during
that period were some of the most dedicated, hard working, creative, and
generally literate adults that I've had the pleasure to interact with during
my teaching career!
But... there were also "some individuals" who were enrolled in our classes
(all adults, virtually all certified, WORKING classroom teacher
practitioners...) that resemble all the stereotypes and attributes used to
describe the reportedly typical, under prepared, procrastinating, and
lackluster undergraduate (?) students portrayed in the responses to Ted's
original posting. What's more, I was known to complain about them with and
to my colleagues... just as some of you are doing now. Life is a tossed
salad and there are occasionally some vegetables that may be past their
prime (or unripe).
So... what's different? Can someone give me some reliable or verifiable
evidence to substantiate the generalization that: "Today's students are going
to hell in a hand basket??"Or... is it that we have short collective
memories for details about what our students are REALLY LIKE from year to
year to year to year...Sometimes cognitive dissonance can be a stronger
force than long-term memory.
John Gallagher <gallagher@SNIP.NET>
I call it the WalMart approach to education: "I paid my tuition so gimme
Colleagues: I have had similar experiences - different details but
essentially the same outcomes. We can blame parents, TV, the "me"
generation, elementary school teachers, secondary school teachers,
drugs, lawyers, pampering parents, absent parents, lack of values, etc.
I find that some students come to my classes with no/little
enculturation on academic ethics, work ethic, writing skills, research
skills, responsibility for one's own learning, etc. IF we are teacher
educators and teachers, what is our responsibility? Is it to blame the
other gal/guy? Perhaps too many of us have done this to these students
in the past - to pass the buck and blame rather than to make first
approaches to change attitudes and behavior. True, at the college level
it may be a little late but, so? Rather than brief students on
requirements or to hand them out and tell them to read them, maybe we
need to TEACH the requirements to include feedback and assessment of
student understanding of their responsibilities. Then, we need to be
consistent in following the requirements and assess accordingly with
appropriate grades. As department chairperson, I must tell you that I
worry about sending out some students for field experiences/internships
and student teaching when they haven't learned to be responsible in
behavior, meeting requirements, attitude, and professionalism. Most of
our students meet high expectations and we watch each carefully during
our program. We weed out those who do not meet our expectations, try to
reeducate and, if not able to succeed, direct them to other programs. If
we want to work on solving this problem, then our teacher candidates and
graduates better perform to our expectations. Otherwise, we contribute
to the continuation of the problem.
"Peter W. Stevens" <CAMBRIDGES@AOL.COM>
Regarding your question "What is your institution doing about retention?"
here are a few some overlook:
Students on Probation
We assist a number of institutions with our 10 Hour Academic Success Seminar
curriculum, Ten Tips for Academic Success.See web site: www.CambridgeStratford.com
Deans realize a high percentage of attrition comes from this targeted group.
By requiring attendance as part of their letter of probation, most find the
10 Hour Seminar will impact a 33% increase in retention.All that is
required is a contract on the first day of class that specifies:
1) a requirement to attend each class,
2) a mid term deficiency status report from professors,
3) an exemption from all further student support services (i.e. tutoring, etc.) if mid term grades improve.
The success is unparalleled and can easily be proven by obtaining the roster
of the three previous years probation students from the registrar and using that as a
bench mark against the success with the 10 Hour Seminar.If used with FRESHMAN it
proves to be an early alert seminar that can head off probationary status.
Untrained tutors can often do a disservice to students.Thousands of
institutions have found training tutors is one of the quickest ways to impact
retention.The Master Tutor: A Guidebook for More Effective Tutoring is a
structured, self-directed tutor training book peer tutors use to train themselves.
A pre/post assessment tool, The TESAT (Tutor Evaluation and Self-Assessment Tool)
is an intelligent way to keep them on task and measure results.
A tutor can impact many students and some admit they do not really know what
goes on when tutors tutor.The answer is to let tutors discover an easier and more effective way to tutor, the 12 STEP TUTOR CYCLE.Once they try it, they'll
wonder what they had been doing tutoring in the past.
Freshman/Adult Student Adjustment to College
Front load the first 5 weeks by giving students a navigational guide to
discover their own solutions to transition problems when and where they occur.Today's
students don't want to listen to lectures about gpa, drop and add, etc.Yet, they do
need to know about them when the time is right.It's different for each student.
Therefore, hundreds of institutions require, give at orientation, or provide
extra-credit for students who purchase and read 100 Things Every College
Freshman Ought to Know and/or 100 Things Every Adult College Student Ought to
Know.They are consumer-friendly, pocket sized paperback books that are easy
to carry around to find out WHERE, WHEN, WHY, WHO, and WHAT about
customs, practices, procedures, and vocabulary common to college but unfamiliar to incoming
students. Deans nationally say, 100 Things is one of the best used freshman books (i.e.
pizza and coke stains).Why so? Students don't want to listen but they are used to
having access to information.Therefore, why not give it to them and let them do
their own self-orientation to college.
Some easy ways:
1. Summer Orientation Directors align themselves with campus bookstores and
encourage students/parents/adults to buy copies during orientation
2. Freshman Seminar faculty require purchase as part of a course (Note: 10 Hour
Academic Success Seminar text, Ten Tips, is also used here).
3. Faculty provide extra-credit for those wishing to complete out-of-class
reading of 100 Things and who submit a College Protocol Journal or participate in a
Problem Solving Situations Exercise (available on request).
4. Fund Raising Organizations sell copies at Orientation, Registration, Open
Houses.Some include Tour Guides, Tutors, Orientation Volunteers, Adult
Clubs, Residence Staff and others.A Fund Raising Kit is available free.
Faculty In service
Faculty tutor almost daily.Many do not know how and become frustrated.
Some institutions have taken a self-directed in service approach by using The
TESAT (Tutor Evaluation and Self Assessment Tool) and sending it to all faculty to
help them learn the latest research on how to help students discover their
own solutions to course problems.Most admit it isn't how they do it but those that try it
find out quickly that it is the easier, less frustrating, and more student-helpful way of
assisting students.Best results found when administering as a pre test in fall
and post in spring.With funding, an On-Site Faculty In service can prove quite
successful especially for freshman faculty.
No special training is required for use of the above as all textbook
curricula has well-structured and scripted teaching aids to reduce set up
time and maintain consistency if multiple instructors are used.
"Reaves, Celia (Psychology)" <creaves@MONROECC.EDU>
The question of how the student population has changed is complicated by
several factors, some of which have already been raised by others. I'd like
to raise the factor of diversification. More and more people who would never
have considered going to college in previous decades are now deciding to
attend. These include people who are patently not prepared along many
dimensions; academic, social, motivational, etc. I teach at a community
college, and a substantial proportion of our students are not only the first
person in their family ever to go to college, but are the first person they
every really knew personally (outside of their teachers and some of their
religious leaders) to go to college. As teachers, we can decide how to
respond to this trend. Do we say, "Sorry, you're not the kind of student
we're used to," and just lead them to failure? Or do we get creative and
involved in how we adapt our teaching and our institutions to meet their
needs? Not an easy question. On one hand I truly believe everyone should
have equal access and opportunities to succeed, and these opportunities need
to reflect the realities of their needs and situation. On the other hand, I
have worked with students who, no matter how hard they and I try, simply
can't do the required work, but the institution continues to take their
money and lead them to believe that anyone can succeed if they just work
hard. This is a good topic for debate; I hope to see lots of replies.
Pat Stoll <patstoll@MEGSINET.NET>
I've been teaching college English for nearly 30 years(!). My take on this
question: The "quality" of students is pretty much the same (IQ) but they do
have different attitudes.
1) More students working full time; schoolwork isn't a priority.
2) Students are damaged goods. The emphasis on high-stakes testing in grade
school and high school skews the way they think of English. Reading becomes an
unpleasant task; literature becomes something to "solve" to answer a multiple
choice exam; students are drilled on the "5-paragraph theme" and we have to make
them unlearn it; they have to do "research papers" as early as sixth grade and
form very bad habits including plagiarism; everyone takes the AP classes which,
I suspect, are just test prep drills. And so on.
3) Grade inflation. This semester I gave lower (and more realistic!) grades than
I usually give (lots of B and C grades) and almost every student who did not
receive an A sent me an email demanding an explanation.
4) Emphasis on college as vocational school. Students aren't interested in
classes that aren't directly related to their majors, which more and more are
"business" related. It becomes more and more difficult to demand serious work
from them for liberal arts classes.
5) My "diverse" "first-generation" students often don't have any support from
their parents, and I don't mean financial. The families may give lip service to
supporting the student wanting to go to college, but in fact they often put
unreasonable demands on the student's time and psyche. Psychological
explanations for such behavior can be explored.
Pat McQueeney <pmcqueen@JCCC.NET>
You're right on target, Pat S.
To this I would add the overextension of themselves--students taking dual
credit; high school students enrolling in college classes and then not
understanding why it's not OK to leave college class 15 minutes early each
day to participate in (pick one) high school tennis, baseball, swimming;
students trying to take a 50-minute class on a lunch hour with work 15
minutes away and the school parking lot jammed.I guess this behavior only
mirrors that of their parents on the highway, "driving" while talking on the
phone, reading business notes, and so on.
The troublesome element, here, is that they are often merely reflecting the
behavior of their parents and, thus, our governing boards.We hear words
like "productivity," which translates as student contact rather than student
Diana Kelly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ted - I know that students have changed since 1980 when I started teaching
in higher education, particularly in terms of preparation. And usually
these conversations among faculty happen at this time of year, when we're
tired.Several years ago, when I was feeling frustrated, I looked back to
see what others had said about how students had changed.You may find
these quotes interesting:
"Colleges complain that very few of their pupils come to them well taught.
During my connection with one of our most respectable colleges, not one
youth in ten entered it thoroughly prepared."1825, Philip Lindsley,
former senior tutor at Princeton University, and President of the
University of Nashville.
"American college students are an unselected and untrained body of
attractive boys and girls, who have for the most part not yet received even
a strenuous secondary school training."1930, Abraham Flexner, director of
the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
"More and more young people emerge from high school ready neither for
college for work."1983, A Nation at Risk.
Helen and Tom Sitler <hsitler@WESTOL.COM>
Thus far I've read this discussion with great interest. The fragmented
lives our students live is apparent and I agree that fragmentation has
costs. In addition, Pat Stoll mentioned students coming to us as damaged
goods due to extensive high stakes testing. Vicki Tischio noted material
conditions impinging on students' lives, causing them to make certain
choices. I'm wondering what any of you think about other ways in which
students come to us damaged and other conditions--emotional/psychological—that
underlie some of the behaviors we see and/or object to in our classrooms.
Sometimes I wonder how some of my students even summon the energy to get
out of bed in the morning. That they're in school at all is remarkable,
but, of course, they're not "doing school" the way I prefer they would.
They're not able to concentrate, not able to work at a steady pace through
an entire semester, can't be depended on in small groups to do their fair
How, for instance, does C. concentrate on her classes when she's being
stalked by a former abusive boyfriend? What kind of consistency in group
work can I expect from R. when she says "my mother taught me to trust no
one but myself"? What about students whose pasts (or very recent presents)
include such things as sexual molestation by step-fathers and uncles,
holding one's dying best friend in one's arms after he's shot himself in
the head, attending the funeral of one's mother 3 weeks before starting a
new semester, becoming responsible at age 11 for raising a 7-year-old
brother because Mom's too high all the time to feed him or get him off to
school? These are some of the students who sit in my classrooms at a rural
university. I suspect they're in most other classrooms, too. What impacts
do life experiences like these have on the way students approach school?
I'm not suggesting students use these experiences as excuses. I think
instead that life experiences like these have real effects on students'
I haven't taught at the university level long enough to answer the "how are
students different" question. Just offering some observations about what I
see in my classroom today.
Joan Hawthorne <joan_hawthorne@UND.NODAK.EDU>
Hi Vicki -
Your comments remind me of a presentation I heard last year about a study
of teachers and students, now and 30 years ago.They didn't address the
question of how faculty have changed as people, but instead examined how
faculty teach and what they expect -- and they found very few changes from
then to now in terms of faculty teaching behaviors and methods, faculty
attitudes about students and their learning, etc.But they did find
tremendous changes in students in terms of study expectations and methods
and behaviors, attitudes about learning, etc.Those changes in students
were not necessarily negative; the presenters' point was that faculty may
be stuck in a rut.It's too easy to do things because they were done to
us, rather than think specifically about who our students are and how we
can use their strengths to improve learning.
"Tischio, Victoria" <VTISCHIO@WCUPA.EDU>
Helen (and list members):
You raise some interesting questions about how the students'
emotional/psychological lives impinge on how the "do school."Clearly, it
would be a mistake for any of us to assume that any of our students are able
to shut off their lives (tragic or otherwise) when they enter our
classrooms.Even such mundane matters as how much sleep the got the not
before, or what the chose to eat for breakfast (or not) effects students'
classroom performance, just as it does ours.
So, just to make matters a little more complex, I think another part of this
equation is not just what social/personal/material influences are "changing"
students, but what social/personal/material influences are changing us.As
we become older and more set in our ways, as we become increasingly invested
in the discourses of our disciplines and scholarly communities, as we take
on greater debt, responsibilities, etc., how do these changes influence our
perceptions of students?I guess what I am saying is that the students
aren't the only people who are "changing" in our classrooms.
Rafael Forteza Fernández<forteza@ENFER.HLG.SLD.CU>
Your are entirely right. When you teach a lesson today, ina couple of
hours the students forget everything you said. When you review what you did
in class, you say, well this is correct, what happened.
There is practically no interest for school anymore. Not all, but many want
to depend on their parents forever. This is not my case.
I have a 21 year old daughter studying economics. She is bright and may even
stay at the university as a teacher when she finishes. She loves research
and teaching. My son on, he contrary, at sixteen doesn't know what his
future will be. He hasn'tdecided yet. He is quite, somehow introverted,
quite intelligent, hates Maths but knows he has to passMaths in the entry
test if he wants to get into university. I sometimes don't know what to do.
This was a father.
As a teacher: Luckily school is free in Cuba. Young people think it is an
obligation of their state to educate them. Some parents do too, so they don't
work hard. This isnot a general situation, but happens very often. At the
same time, there are thousands of young people who are really like my
daughter. I beli3ve it's the same everywhere. Do you think it is the impact
of the new social and economic conditions? or Has it been the influence of
Robert Blomeyer <Robert.Blomeyer@ncrel.org>
I do not believe public griping about how rotten today's students
are has any place in a serious public discussion about educational research.
Public negativity only breeds and solicits additional negativity.
What does this look like to education students who also read
AERA-K?? Stereotypes paint with a broad brush?Are ALL of your
undergraduate students typical of the abuse you and others seem to enjoy
sharing publicly in AERA-K? How do you think it makes them feel to be
criticized in this manner by persons they hopefully respect and look up to
as a role models??
These students are the responsibility of our "shared community of practice."
Personally, I believe continuing this odious stereotyping and verbal abuse
is irresponsible. It's your privilege as alist member. I would never argue
against free and uncensored speech. I will express my own opinions (publicly
and privately) about professionally irresponsible actions... virtual or
Debora Adler <adlerdeb@SHU.EDU>
We often think of affluent children as growing up with all of the
advantages. We may feel that they have no reason or excuse for the
less-than-perfect people that they may grow up to become. But consider the
influences on the new group of college students.
These are the children of the Reagan Era. Many of them were probably
explicitly taught to do whatever they needed to do and to step on whomever
they needed to step to get ahead.
These are the children who were pushed way beyond their developmental
levels as their parents talked to them in utero through toilet paper tubes,
taught them to read at three, and so on.
These are the children raised in daycare. Recently, we learned of a study
that correlated hours in daycare with bullying. Several years ago, an
extensive study of daycare situations in CA, showed that most daycare
situations in that state were not even adequate, let alone good or
excellent. Even if the problem with daycare is merely lack of contact with
parents, these young adults are likely to show the results of those
These are the children of the Christian Right and the convenient belief in
salvation by grace that goes along with that. Having seen videos of
murderers in prison saying smugly, "I know where I'm going," I, personally,
don't believe that this belief system does much for the moral development
Furthermore, affluent children are subject to the same abuse and neglect
that other children can experience.
These students are exactly the product I would expect from the environments
in which they have grown up.
"Dick Buck" <email@example.com>
Ted Panitz asked the members of a number of lists to respond to his
questions about differences between students five years ago and now.
All of the students I have this semester are the greatest I have ever had.
There is one reason for that:I have none.For the first time in 45 years
I do not have to meet someone else's schedule.It feels wonderful.It is
not that I have retired, I did that 16 years ago.I have been basically
forced out (selectively) when the CC at which I was working decided that
they would begin to enforce the 19 credit hour rule for adjunct faculty.
That is (in case you don't have it) anyone who works more that the
equivalent of 19 credit hours in a calendar year must receive benefits.The
place that previously employed me won't pay anyone benefits.They are
working toward a faculty that consists of one tenured member in each
division (department) with all the rest adjuncts.Normally I would teach 24
credit hours, manage the Math/Science Learning Center and tutor there about
20 hours each week.In terms of clock hours that was the equivalent of 2500
hours each year, whereas the 19 credit hour rule transforms to 750 clock
hours per year.
So my students this semester don't whine, they don't beg for grade
inflation, they don't play the victim role.In short, they are wonderful.
The sad part is that my immediate (former) boss in the LC and my (former)
assistant dean both take the side of the whiners, grade inflators and
victims.The ass. dean has a EdD in adult Ed., while the LC boss has no
degree at all.They are both very anti-intellectual, so being away from
them is another good thing about this semester.
I was informed yesterday by a tutor from the LC that all of the math texts
(about 7500) I had assembled for use in the LC had been destroyed by that
former boss.Many were from the 50s, 60s and 70s and were much used by the
students.When the surplus of new books got too great we would send boxes
of them to schools around the world (Pakistan, various places in Africa and
local churches which run tutoring centers for after school students) who
could not afford texts for their students.All gone.Perhaps they were too
intellectual.Shades of Fahrenheit 451.
So maybe it is not all the fault of the students.Perhaps they are having
their attitudes reinforced by those who work in the schools.
Rocky Wallbaum <Rocky.Wallbaum@lakelandc.ab.ca>
I just finished my dossier which is to be reviewed Monday afternoon.
have a moment with which to write you and finally make a contribution,
albeit small, to the current (installment of this ongoing) discussion. (As
I recall, you have been asking similar questions for a while, and the
answers are always interesting.)
I have a Master's degree in Adult Education from St Francis Xavier
University (Nova Scotia, Canada), and have been working at a small college
in Alberta, Canada for eleven years. I have been interested in the
characteristics of adult learners since I started my studies in adult
education back in 1996.
Last week, I conducted a seminar for faculty on the characteristics
traditional (right out of high school) and adult learners. We began by
discussing how some adult educators feel that the term 'adult learner'
excludes anyone registered in a formal program. We agreed that there is
some basis to the belief that the term "adult" signifies more of a
maturation stage than a chronological age. I also cautioned that we were
using very broad strokes with which to illustrate the differences between
these two learners, and asked participants to avoid falling into the trap of
characterizing learners as being totally in one or the other category. Our
group saw the growth from 'traditional' to 'adult' learner being a series of
As we listed the characteristics on flip charts sheets posted side by
faculty members asked a bigger question: "How can faculty members help
students develop the skills they need to make the transition?" Some of our
faculty who are particularly interested in increasing student retention
suggested that the exercise be conducted for all faculty, to help them
realize the differences, the changes that students have to make, and what
faculty members could do to help.
The discussion was rich and intense at times, and we did not agree on
everything. I tried to capture the main points in a chart, but as I drafted
it, I was struck by the inadequacy of typewritten words to capture the
significance of our discussion. I'll attach the chart for your review. If
you think that this warrants inclusion in the discussion (that I have not
yet had time to review), feel free to edit, return to me for editing, or
include in its entirety.
The major topics where we found major differences between "traditional"
"adult" learners were:
* who is responsible for learning?
* What is the goal of education?
* Is knowledge absolute or relative?
* What are students seeking?
* At what time range are students setting goals?
* What are the strongest influences on the student?
* How experienced are students with formal education?
* Are students primarily competitive or cooperative?
* How much structure do students expect?
* To what extent have students developed a 'voice'?
* To what extent do unseen cultural norms govern student conduct?
Thomas Theda <Theda@petech.ac.za>
In your discussion forum, you say the following
and most of the people
seemed to agree with you:
The basic conclusion was that there is a bimodal
motivated, prepared and interested students in one mode and ill prepared,
unmotivated students in the second mode.
I am from South Africa and we have an interesting
situation with students
coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and advantaged backgrounds now coming
together in tertiary institutions. Often those from advantaged backgrounds
are well-prepared for tertiary education but are unmotivated. Those from
the disadvantaged backgrounds are usually ill-prepared. They come from
schools with inadequate equipment, sometimes even no electricity, poor
teaching and an authoritarian system where they are taught not to question.
These students are however usually highly motivated and really want to
A feel that one needs to have a rectangular block
ill-prepared / motivated well-prepared; unmotivated ill-prepared and
motivated well-prepared. Sorry I cannot draw in our e-mail package.
Biobabe217@AOL.COM A. Sills
I absolutely agree with you. I think I am
considered an odd parent by some because I am actually still married to
my child's father, spend time with my child as often as I can instead of
ditching him off on other people when I get home from work, and do not
schedule him for an organized activity every night of the week. Many
children in my district do not suffer from physical abuse; they suffer
from the emotional abuse of having parents whose motivation for having
children appears to be merely providing for offspring to inherit their
money and to show off for the neighbors. The work ethic of students
will not improve until parents resume placing their children as the top
priority, not something to sandwich in between work and the country club.
It is simply too much like work for most of these parents to give up a
few of their own activities to actually do some parenting.
Wow! You *actually* stay at home for your kids and have tried raising them?? Who do you think you are???
Seriously, I think you've hit on a MAJOR issue with suburban kids who suffer from "affluenza".
As an educator who is about to move a few steps
down the economic ladder when I go to a new school to teach, I'm hoping
that there is *some* hope for the "middle - to - blue" collar kids. I've
about given up on the "upper middle" - "new money" kids and their workethic/apathy.