Friday, July 10, 2015

Students, the Truth, Lies, and Excuses

I get a pretty much daily newsletter/email from Faculty Focus, and this link will take you to an article I think every college teacher should read.

This is my take on it:  basically, a student will lie about not getting an assignment in regardless of the "point value" in terms of the final grade.  So it is not a matter of course structure, assignment creation, or instructor treatment of the student, although all those are important.  It has to do with the basic moral and ethical structure of the student.

It's like the old joke about "Would you sleep with someone for a million dollars?"  When the answer is yes, the person is asked, "Would you sleep with someone for a thousand dollars?"  When the person answering the question says, "What are you doing?" the response is, "I already know what you are, now I am just negotiating."

Sorry.  That doesn't go along with the "Christian college instructor" title of this blog, but it does go along with the article linked above.  If a student has no problems with lying about grandma or the power outage, then it doesn't matter if it means a lower grade or not.  He/she is a liar, and changing how important the test is doesn't matter.

What do we expect?  Except for the few who have been raised by engaged, honest parents or had a true conversion experience that altered their world view and motivational system, most of them have been told all their lives that either (a) they are simply a random collection of evolved cells, so it really doesn't matter what they do, or (b) they are the center of the universe, so between selfies, it's ok to lie to a teacher because everyone does it and as long as it gets you what you want, so be it.

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