Thursday, March 31, 2011

Failure is the Path of Least Persistance

I just graded my class's second mid term, and I might have to get dentures because I've been grinding my teeth over it. I teach a core class that involves chemistry, physics, algebra, and easy calculus. We use a lot of tables to pick off data. I was extremely disappointed that 1/3 of my students were too lazy to interpolate data from a table, to use ideal gas law, or bother to get the right units. These are America's next generation and I would be horrified to have them working alongside my friend or working heavy machinery. Are we so lazy that we can't solve problems anymore?


Anonymous said...

Silly Professor - you didn't tell them how to do the problems during the test, of course they don't know how to do them!

Anonymous said...

i feel your pain. i just had a midterm & caught a student blatantly cheating. the sad part was, that the cheating really didnt seem to help the student at all. why risk so much for so little gain? where do these students get their work ethic & values from?

Jen said...

"Are we so lazy that we can't solve problems anymore?" Unfortunately, yes - not all students, to be sure, but enough that it has taken some of the joy of teaching out of me. I'm seeing this with my teenage nephews, too - I end up doing cartwheels trying to help them see the relevance of various subjects (particularly math and science) - if it doesn't relate to video games, they don't care. [After seeing the math curriculum my nephews had throughout elementary school - one of those packaged deals from a national publisher, I'm convinced we've dumbed down math so much that the "problem solving" aspect of math has been replaced with shortcuts and guessimation.]