I hear this question in one form or another almost every day?  Clearly, this is a very provocative title, and is meant to be so.  I think many of the issues that raise this question have to do more with the inflexibility of teachers and instructors than it does with the students.  Here are some more comments I hear from my teaching colleagues all the time: “I tell students the same thing over and over, and they never get it.”

“My students don’t do enough <fill_in_blank> !”

“They never remember what I tell them.”

“My students can’t write a coherent sentence, let alone a paragraph.”

“A week after class is over, they’ll have forgotten everything we covered in class.”

Did my instructors say the same kinds of things about us?  I bet so.  “Kid’s today!”

We’re trying to create  students in our own image, instead of embracing the diversity of approaches and the value of all experience?  Moreover, we forget how we learned, and how long it took us to catch on to a lot of this stuff.  I talk to people who took classes with me in my future career, and they don’t remember any more of those classes than current students do.  

So the next time you hear this, ask the speaker, “how were you in your school days?”

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