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Re: [SACC-L] student/prof expectations

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  • Mark Lewine
    for most of my career, my average age in class was over 30 and high school was not the issue.Over the past few years, I have been trying to push a system
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 2, 2009
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      for most of my career, my average age in class was over 30 and high school was not the issue.Over the past few years, I have been trying to push a system whereby the last year of high school would be at the community college...but that has been changed by our Board of Regents in Ohio to high school teachers teaching college classes for credit and being adjunct with our community college...the union is fighting this for a variety of reasons and I feel that mixing the mandatory high school setting of resentful adolescents with college classes is a terrible cultural mix...our high school program with selected high schoolers mixing their last couple of years with some college courses with us has worked well.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Kent Morris
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 8:27 PM
      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] student/prof expectations


      what are your thoughts on high schools' role in providing the preparation to
      learn this dialect?
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Lewine, Mark" <mark.lewine@...>
      To: <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 11:02 AM
      Subject: RE: [SACC-L] student/prof expectations

      >I agree completely that the remarks on this issue demonstrate
      > deconstructed biases that each of us has. We ought to not only be aware
      > of them but expand their depth through interchange with others. I, for
      > one, find your characterization of this dialogue as entirely about
      > students' inadequacies surprising. It is useless, mindless and
      > self-serving justification for lazy education for a prof to find blame
      > for students' inadequate behaviors. I continuously fight this
      > construction by my administration and by my colleagues who think of
      > themselves as gate-keepers to what Bloom used to call the knowledge
      > culture that academics act as if we know and own. I wonder if we
      > characterize our students in this way, how are we different from our
      > traditional elitist university "colleagues" and of the AAA culture that
      > we so regularly denounce.
      >
      > I was evidently inadequate in characterizing the problem as one of
      > forgetting that our role is to create and engage the educational
      > process, be learning facilitators or 'those who nurture learning'
      > (educators defined by Ashley Montagu) rather than teachers, to find out
      > what our students know and do not know by formative evaluation
      > techniques. Only then should we select or create the process which we
      > offer students in each class. Once we know the diversity of backgrounds
      > in our students' demonstrated knowledge of terms and concepts related to
      > both the subject and the learning expectations of college culture, we
      > begin to select how and what to emphasize in our teaching.
      >
      >
      >
      > What you spoke about seems the traditional model of professor: owner of
      > the subject material, gate-keeper of the academic culture and college
      > norms. I say that comprehensive community colleges have opened the
      > doors to people with various kinds of knowledge and dialects of English
      > that explain their knowledge in non-academic ways. It is up to me to
      > provide a process that helps them code-switch the knowledge gained of
      > social behavior say as a waitress or bartender, to conceptual
      > terminology and thinking that will pass the cultural test of academia.
      > This is actually what the teacher in Oakland meant by learning the
      > dialect of her students (called 'ebonics' in the later political
      > discussion) so that she could find methods to help them code-switch and
      > learn. To blame students for not already knowing the dialect, norms and
      > perspectives of the middle class, of academia and of our subject, is
      > worthy of a poor evaluation of our role and censure by colleagues. There
      > is no cause, no effect, no solution. Only an educational system with one
      > alternative, the open-door community college...let's continue to fight
      > the attempt by all inside and outside of it to make us part of the
      > corporate oligarchic system which needs irrelevant teachers of elitist
      > subjects creating passive workers who will do what they are told with
      > low self-esteem from a lifetime of being taught that they are rubes and
      > morons. Is that transparent bias clear?
      >
      >
      >
      > To treat students as rubes and idiots can only be done well with wry
      > humor by Tom Stevenson, who actually had a lifetime of them in southern
      > Ohio...this can be confirmed by Diane.
      >
      >
      >
      > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      > Of Bob Muckle
      > Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 1:11 PM
      > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [SACC-L] student/prof expectations
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > I find all this talk about student and prof expecations quite
      > interesting.
      >
      > It is like a case study in identifying theoretical bias of SACC members.
      > People's favorite paradigms, or conceptual frameworks, or theoretical
      > perspectives, or whatever we are calling them these days are leaking out
      > in explanations of the current state of students' lack of preparedness,
      > difficulties, and expectations. Blame it on the economy vs. blame it on
      > social systems, vs blame it on ideological factors.
      >
      > First we should figure out if it is really a problem, then if we decide
      > it is, then we can offer some solutions. I will begin by offering this:
      > fix the economy, fix the social systems, and fix ideology. I suggest we
      > start with the economy, but then again I like cultural materialism.
      >
      > You're welcome.
      >
      > Bob
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/Yahoo!
      > Groups Links
      >
      >
      >





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Thomas Stevenson
      I ve been following this discussion from the vantage point of a retired but still working point of view and fully intended to remain silent until I was drawn
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 3, 2009
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        I've been following this discussion from the vantage point of a retired
        but still working point of view and fully intended to remain silent
        until I was drawn in my Mark's comment on my style.

        I know students are not what we would like them to be. For the most part
        they don't care about what we think. They see the education process as
        a step to a job or a better job. Where I am this job will usually be in
        education, scary as that is for our grandchildren. While I do use "wry
        humor" to tell students how badly prepared they are for this or any job,
        they don't really understand that message - they get some of the humor
        by not the underlying point. So I've turned to pointedly asking if they
        think they could get away with the same behaviors they exhibit in class
        on the job. I frequently ask students to write answers to a few review
        questions are the beginning of class, prior to going over the answers.
        Often students decide they don't have to do this because they came late,
        were absent the day before, need to text, have to check up on facebook.
        I circulate while people are supposed to be writing the answers - a
        surprisingly difficult task for many considering most of the answers
        should be in their notes. When I find someone not doing the work I make
        them get the questions, put down the phone, open their book, etc. and
        reinforce that with the comment that they're "I don't have to do this"
        approach will not go far when they're in a job. Once the exercise is
        done, I return to wry humor.

        Thomas B. Stevenson, Ph.D.
        Associate Professor, Anthropology
        Ohio University, Zanesville Campus
        1425 Newark Road
        Zanesville, OH 43701
        U.S.A.

        740.588.1476 (O)
        740.605.0115 (Cell)
        740.453.0706 (FAX)
        tstevens@...



        Lewine, Mark wrote:
        > I agree completely that the remarks on this issue demonstrate
        > deconstructed biases that each of us has. We ought to not only be aware
        > of them but expand their depth through interchange with others. I, for
        > one, find your characterization of this dialogue as entirely about
        > students' inadequacies surprising. It is useless, mindless and
        > self-serving justification for lazy education for a prof to find blame
        > for students' inadequate behaviors. I continuously fight this
        > construction by my administration and by my colleagues who think of
        > themselves as gate-keepers to what Bloom used to call the knowledge
        > culture that academics act as if we know and own. I wonder if we
        > characterize our students in this way, how are we different from our
        > traditional elitist university "colleagues" and of the AAA culture that
        > we so regularly denounce.
        >
        > I was evidently inadequate in characterizing the problem as one of
        > forgetting that our role is to create and engage the educational
        > process, be learning facilitators or 'those who nurture learning'
        > (educators defined by Ashley Montagu) rather than teachers, to find out
        > what our students know and do not know by formative evaluation
        > techniques. Only then should we select or create the process which we
        > offer students in each class. Once we know the diversity of backgrounds
        > in our students' demonstrated knowledge of terms and concepts related to
        > both the subject and the learning expectations of college culture, we
        > begin to select how and what to emphasize in our teaching.
        >
        >
        >
        > What you spoke about seems the traditional model of professor: owner of
        > the subject material, gate-keeper of the academic culture and college
        > norms. I say that comprehensive community colleges have opened the
        > doors to people with various kinds of knowledge and dialects of English
        > that explain their knowledge in non-academic ways. It is up to me to
        > provide a process that helps them code-switch the knowledge gained of
        > social behavior say as a waitress or bartender, to conceptual
        > terminology and thinking that will pass the cultural test of academia.
        > This is actually what the teacher in Oakland meant by learning the
        > dialect of her students (called 'ebonics' in the later political
        > discussion) so that she could find methods to help them code-switch and
        > learn. To blame students for not already knowing the dialect, norms and
        > perspectives of the middle class, of academia and of our subject, is
        > worthy of a poor evaluation of our role and censure by colleagues. There
        > is no cause, no effect, no solution. Only an educational system with one
        > alternative, the open-door community college...let's continue to fight
        > the attempt by all inside and outside of it to make us part of the
        > corporate oligarchic system which needs irrelevant teachers of elitist
        > subjects creating passive workers who will do what they are told with
        > low self-esteem from a lifetime of being taught that they are rubes and
        > morons. Is that transparent bias clear?
        >
        >
        >
        > To treat students as rubes and idiots can only be done well with wry
        > humor by Tom Stevenson, who actually had a lifetime of them in southern
        > Ohio...this can be confirmed by Diane.
        >
        >
        >
        > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        > Of Bob Muckle
        > Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 1:11 PM
        > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [SACC-L] student/prof expectations
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > I find all this talk about student and prof expecations quite
        > interesting.
        >
        > It is like a case study in identifying theoretical bias of SACC members.
        > People's favorite paradigms, or conceptual frameworks, or theoretical
        > perspectives, or whatever we are calling them these days are leaking out
        > in explanations of the current state of students' lack of preparedness,
        > difficulties, and expectations. Blame it on the economy vs. blame it on
        > social systems, vs blame it on ideological factors.
        >
        > First we should figure out if it is really a problem, then if we decide
        > it is, then we can offer some solutions. I will begin by offering this:
        > fix the economy, fix the social systems, and fix ideology. I suggest we
        > start with the economy, but then again I like cultural materialism.
        >
        > You're welcome.
        >
        > Bob
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • George Thomas
        I hesitate to mention that, when we reach upper-division and graduate level anthro, concerns over whether students can write, think critically, study, and have
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 3, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          I hesitate to mention that, when we reach upper-division and graduate level anthro, concerns over whether students can write, think critically, study, and have self-motivation are no longer relevant. From my point of view, thinking way, way back, it seemed that such respect for undergraduate students as adults within a sort of sink-or-swim environment extended all the way to that ugly line between HS and college. I was certainly allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.  But I had a more-or-less 50s-60s upbringing, did not enjoy a highly structured childhood/adolescent activity schedule, was not driven regularly to soccer practice by my soccer mom, seldom "texted," and did not develop the attitude that professors would lead me by the nose through undergraduate courses.
          Of my current crop of students (more on this "special environment" maybe later), few are what I might call "rubes and morons," although they did manage to "achieve" their current status for some reason.  Test results, while sometimes surprisingly good, come with unhealthy proportions of the need to watch for cheating, and by that I mean it's worse than "normal."  In many cases, individual personality problems that landed this "student body" where they are are more of a manipulative, aggressive and deceptive nature than any rube-ness or moron-icity.
          What's interesting here is the commentary concerning students in today's "normal" environment, and my attempts to apply it all to my experience.  Perhaps some of the problems leading to that special, electronic-internet age sense of self-entitlement, and that assumption that instructors and professors are there to serve RATHER THAN to "nurture learning" and encourage self-motivation per the prevailing academic shift to academic dialects, comes from the same sources as do those leading to incarceration.
          Even within that "special environment," keeping in mind what Phil said about the futility of teaching a pig to sing, there are still those few who manage to "get it." You can see it, especially when the "getting" of "it" matches the grades.  Manipulative skill extends to the art of appearing to "get it," even when that's not what's happening.
          (Whose "emic" is our "etic," anyway?  Some even "get" that! -- or maybe I was witnessing cerebral meltdown.  I'll get back with you on that....)
          So yes, all the comments on this thread make excellent points, but as college teachers we will always need to recognize that, regardless of cultural or economic circumstances of our varied bunches of students, the line below which we can be expected to "nurture" has to be a bit higher than it is before HS graduation.
          G.T.
           
           
              Posted by: "Mark Lewine" mlewine@... krameniwel
              Date: Mon Nov 2, 2009 8:54 pm ((PST))

          for most of my career, my average age in class was over 30 and high school was not the issue.Over the past few years, I have been trying to push a system whereby the last year of high school would be at the community college...but that has been changed by our Board of Regents in Ohio to high school teachers teaching college classes for credit and being adjunct with our community college...the union is fighting this for a variety of reasons and I feel that mixing the mandatory high school setting of resentful adolescents with college classes is a terrible cultural mix...our high school program with selected high schoolers mixing their last couple of years with some college courses with us has worked well.
          ----- Original Message -----
            From: Kent Morris
            To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 8:27 PM
            Subject: 

              what are your thoughts on high schools' role in providing the preparation to
            learn this dialect?
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Lewine, Mark" <mark.lewine@...>
            To: <SACC-L@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 11:02 AM
            Subject: RE: [SACC-L] student/prof expectations

            >I agree completely that the remarks on this issue demonstrate
            > deconstructed biases that each of us has. We ought to not only be aware
            > of them but expand their depth through interchange with others. I, for
            > one, find your characterization of this dialogue as entirely about
            > students' inadequacies surprising. It is useless, mindless and
            > self-serving justification for lazy education for a prof to find blame
            > for students' inadequate behaviors. I continuously fight this
            > construction by my administration and by my colleagues who think of
            > themselves as gate-keepers to what Bloom used to call the knowledge
            > culture that academics act as if we know and own. I wonder if we
            > characterize our students in this way, how are we different from our
            > traditional elitist university "colleagues" and of the AAA culture that
            > we so regularly denounce.
            >
            > I was evidently inadequate in characterizing the problem as one of
            > forgetting that our role is to create and engage the educational
            > process, be learning facilitators or 'those who nurture learning'
            > (educators defined by Ashley Montagu) rather than teachers, to find out
            > what our students know and do not know by formative evaluation
            > techniques. Only then should we select or create the process which we
            > offer students in each class. Once we know the diversity of backgrounds
            > in our students' demonstrated knowledge of terms and concepts related to
            > both the subject and the learning expectations of college culture, we
            > begin to select how and what to emphasize in our teaching.
            >
            >
            >
            > What you spoke about seems the traditional model of professor: owner of
            > the subject material, gate-keeper of the academic culture and college
            > norms. I say that comprehensive community colleges have opened the
            > doors to people with various kinds of knowledge and dialects of English
            > that explain their knowledge in non-academic ways. It is up to me to
            > provide a process that helps them code-switch the knowledge gained of
            > social behavior say as a waitress or bartender, to conceptual
            > terminology and thinking that will pass the cultural test of academia.
            > This is actually what the teacher in Oakland meant by learning the
            > dialect of her students (called 'ebonics' in the later political
            > discussion) so that she could find methods to help them code-switch and
            > learn. To blame students for not already knowing the dialect, norms and
            > perspectives of the middle class, of academia and of our subject, is
            > worthy of a poor evaluation of our role and censure by colleagues. There
            > is no cause, no effect, no solution. Only an educational system with one
            > alternative, the open-door community college...let's continue to fight
            > the attempt by all inside and outside of it to make us part of the
            > corporate oligarchic system which needs irrelevant teachers of elitist
            > subjects creating passive workers who will do what they are told with
            > low self-esteem from a lifetime of being taught that they are rubes and
            > morons. Is that transparent bias clear?

            > To treat students as rubes and idiots can only be done well with wry
            > humor by Tom Stevenson, who actually had a lifetime of them in southern
            > Ohio...this can be confirmed by Diane.
            >

           
             Posted by: "Philip Stein" stein39@... phil3900
              Date: Mon Nov 2, 2009 1:21 pm ((PST))

          It is all too easy to be critical of the younger generation, an exercise with deep historical roots. We have to accept what is given us, try to understand it, and then work with it. The students we see in class have grown up in an environment where parents overplan their activities (scheduled play dates, etc.) with children being driven from one activity to another. They are given an abundance of toys, most of which talk back to you. And they watch a lot of TV where the story line is broken by commercials into small sound bites.
           
          My wife just retired from as head of Occupation Therapy at the VA hospital. New therapiest came with master degrees and academic honors. But they had no idea how to schedule patients and create a treatment plan. They constantly would ask for a treatment protocal and someone to lead them step by step through their day. It took work to change this pattern, but it can be done and was.
           
          Now that I've taught a class online, I'm using the software (Moodle in this case) in all of my classes. I post my syllabus and assignments online, where students are quite comfortable, and have them submit their writing assignments online rather than on paper. And I very carefully spell out their responsibilities. But I definitely draw a line. I refuse to give them a study guide. Their job is to take notes and figure out what's important to learn. I'm moving to more and more writing assignments and more and more essays on exams.
           
          Some students catch on and some don't. But I do not blame the entire class. If I have only a small number of Bs and Cs on an exam, I teach to them. I may express disappointment, but I never punish them or spend prescious class time attempting to talk them into becoming good students. You're not going to reach all your students. As the say goes, "You can't teach a pig to sing. It can't be done and it annoys the pig."

            >
            > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            > Of Bob Muckle
            > Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 1:11 PM
            > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [SACC-L] student/prof expectations
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > I find all this talk about student and prof expecations quite
            > interesting.
            >
            > It is like a case study in identifying theoretical bias of SACC members.
            > People's favorite paradigms, or conceptual frameworks, or theoretical
            > perspectives, or whatever we are calling them these days are leaking out
            > in explanations of the current state of students' lack of preparedness,
            > difficulties, and expectations. Blame it on the economy vs. blame it on
            > social systems, vs blame it on ideological factors.
            >
            > First we should figure out if it is really a problem, then if we decide
            > it is, then we can offer some solutions. I will begin by offering this:
            > fix the economy, fix the social systems, and fix ideology. I suggest we
            > start with the economy, but then again I like cultural materialism.
            >
            > You're welcome.
            >
            > Bob





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