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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Would Someone Please Explain The Reason For This Strange Behavior?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

One of the biggest frustrations with my students lately is that they do not want to take responsibility for their own learning.

Case in point. The other day, I had a student insist that I did not teach her how to perform legal citation. She had a totally meltdown over a homework assignment using legal citation. She told several people that I just gave the assignment without showing the class how to do legal citation.

Um...ok...let's backtrack...

  1. I spent an entire class going over the concept using a PowerPoint that broke down the concept by explaining each part of the citation and what it means.
  2. I use the PowerPoint because this student, like many others, are very visual. The slides I created are very interactive. I post them online after class so that they can practice at their leisure.
  3. The PowerPoint had several examples which we went over in class, ad nauseum.
  4. Students worked on an exercise in small groups to practice
  5. Each student had a cop of the slides for notes
  6. Each student was shown in the Bluebook (The legal citation guide for law) where to find the information and how to interpret it.
  7. The student was in class that day and participated fully.
But according to the student, I did show her "how" to do citation.

Sigh...Maybe I was supposed to do the assignment for her?

I have other examples where it seems that my students do not want to take responsibility for their own learning. Some just want me to "Teach to the test" rather than ask them to go beyond the basic levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Sure, I could go into a rant on how "No Child Left Behind" has f-ed up the the system. But, that doesn't solve the problem.

My students will be entering a profession where,  as paralegals, they will be asked to find  information. They will be expected to think, reason and analyze.  That means going beyond the basics and actually putting the grey matter in their heads to use. It means seeking answers and discovering information. Not hoping that someone else will tell you the answer.

After all, I know the answer. I am asking them the question.


Anonymous said...

This one's easy. Actually there are several reasons:
(1) entitlement
(2) A for effort
(3) A simply for paying tuition
(4) don't know how to apply concepts
(5) laziness -- don't want to study

And did I mention entitlement?

Good luck -- this is not new. They want to be spoonfed and get A's for effort and because they're paying tuition.

Belle said...

They've always been able to blame somebody else?

I tell my students that they are responsible, as adults, for their own choices. Not my job to show them everything, or make them a success (however defined). If they choose not to pay attention, that's their choice. If they choose to miss a day of class, their choice. I might disagree with that choice, might counsel against it - but it is ultimately their choice.

Had another heloparent this term. Student chose to privilege X class over mine. Then chose to blame me. Parent comes back to me, wants to know what Stu did wrong... good impulse, but should ask son. As I can't answer. Won't answer. Talk to your kid about his choices...

TiredProf said...

Sherlock is right. Entitlement is the issue (and parents who have fed this). I can't wait to get to the sabbatical. It's all that's keeping me from really going off on one of them....

Alice said...

I had a similar situation, recently...