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  1. #11
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    First off, thank you for posting your input Laser, it was highly appreciated. To clarify this "read entire chapters for homework".. I don't understand this at all not because I don't want to read chapters. But because if that's all I needed to do for this class was read a bunch of chapters and take a test, I could have done that on my own and tested out of the course. The reason I take a class at all is to get someone to TEACH me the book, not to study the book and ask a lazy teacher an occasional question. If an entire chapter is necessary, fine.. but I'm reading a book and getting no input from the teacher. The book is teaching me then, not the teacher, which I feel is wrong. I pay for a teacher, I should get teaching. That's why that's on my list of "wtf"s.

    Quote Originally Posted by lamp View Post
    I am unsure what to draw from the 'school as knowledge' vs 'school as job qualification' contradiction.

    Perhaps, with increasing numbers of degrees, employers will look beyond degree / GPA. Portfolios and experience will become more important, GPA less so. This allows for idealistic teachers. And perhaps I am being too idealistic.
    I hope you're right. I feel the same way, I hope my experience gives me edges over degrees, because I don't intend at his time to get my bachelors. I dislike school thus far and it stresses me out so much.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  2. #12
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    A teacher not pointing you to the right materials for a question just to lower the GPA is just... wrong.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  3. #13
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    First off, thank you for posting your input Laser, it was highly appreciated. To clarify this "read entire chapters for homework".. I don't understand this at all not because I don't want to read chapters. But because if that's all I needed to do for this class was read a bunch of chapters and take a test, I could have done that on my own and tested out of the course. The reason I take a class at all is to get someone to TEACH me the book, not to study the book and ask a lazy teacher an occasional question. If an entire chapter is necessary, fine.. but I'm reading a book and getting no input from the teacher. The book is teaching me then, not the teacher, which I feel is wrong. I pay for a teacher, I should get teaching. That's why that's on my list of "wtf"s.
    Ideally, what should be happening after you read a chapter in the text is the professor and class should discuss what was read to ensure understanding.

    If this is not done, then reading from the book and never discussing it is rather pointless. Because I can't tell you how many times I was asked to read a chapter and had a really hard time understanding the material on my own because:

    -It was written in an extremely dry, round-about manner and in spite of my best efforts to focus on the words, I kept losing my place and would re-read the same sentence five times and not take anything in.
    -The material was simply way over my head and without further discussion, I would have never completely understood the specific subject.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I don't intend at his time to get my bachelors. I dislike school thus far and it stresses me out so much.
    I do not know what your interests are, but I would guess you will want to return at some point. I do. I enjoyed school and ultimately found it useful but it slowly tore me apart. Which was bad.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    When I was in school (she said, leaning on her cane ...) and a professor did this, I would go to their office during their office hours and point it out. And if they argued, I would go over their heads. You're right, you're paying good money and you're doing the work. Getting jerked around should not be part of it.

    Can you opt out of some of these classes? For example, I took logic instead of math, and my science was geology...is there wiggle room to drop/add and take something else?

  6. #16
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    -It was written in an extremely dry, round-about manner and in spite of my best efforts to focus on the words, I kept losing my place and would re-read the same sentence five times and not take anything in.
    -The material was simply way over my head and without further discussion, I would have never completely understood the specific subject.
    These tend to be my problems as well. Sometimes I do okay, but this is few and far between.

    Quote Originally Posted by lamp View Post
    I do not know what your interests are, but I would guess you will want to return at some point. I do. I enjoyed school and ultimately found it useful but it slowly tore me apart. Which was bad.
    Well, I have another 2 years (including this semester) to go, so I'm not going anywhere fast

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    When I was in school (she said, leaning on her cane ...) and a professor did this, I would go to their office during their office hours and point it out. And if they argued, I would go over their heads. You're right, you're paying good money and you're doing the work. Getting jerked around should not be part of it.

    Can you opt out of some of these classes? For example, I took logic instead of math, and my science was geology...is there wiggle room to drop/add and take something else?
    Usually for students there are, but for myself once I start a class I must finish it due to my financial aid from the army. My work schedule is what placed me in the classes I am in.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  7. #17
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Perhaps my perspective as a teacher is uninteresting/irrelevant, but this is what I always tell my pupils/students at the beginning (first day) if they are not already adults (sometimes then, too, depending on the group).

    Question: "So what is the point of homework anyway?" (Question throws them off guard, as they are probably wondering the same thing themselves).

    Answer: (grumble, mumble, rumble)

    Answer 1: "Because the class is too big?"

    My answer: "That's true. But I sometimes teach individuals, and they also get homework."

    Answer 2: "To piss us off?"

    My answer: "You may get pissed off, but that is not my intention, no."

    Answer 3: "To keep us busy for no reason?"

    My answer: "Hope you don't ever feel my homework is to keep you busy for no reason. The reason is as follows:

    There is interesting work, and there is boring work. Why waste precious class time - YOUR time - for boring stuff you can do at home? You have a native speaker here, and this is your time to talk to one. The boring writing and reading - that stuff you can do at home."

    (Stunned silence).
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  8. #18
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    Wow, this topic sucks. It seems pretty normal/right to me that a professor will make the test difficult by inserting complex questions that aren't necessarily stricly included in the curriculum. That's part of university, isn't it? If you didn't want to do something complicated, you could have started working straight out of high school. If you can't manage, that's too bad - you can drop out.
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  9. #19
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Hiya, Kyuuei! As you know, I am a teacher and we have fairly similar ways of looking at things, including education, so please allow me to address your concerns.

    I know this sounds like an angry fit, but I really do want some input as to the different thought processes when it comes to teaching, as I've noticed a total lack of efficiency in my classes this semester in comparison to other classes in previous semesters.
    I'll do my best.

    I'm under the impression that students take classes because it's difficult to learn it on your own in comparison to having someone with expertise teaching you. That's why people take classes normally instead of reading and testing out of courses.
    Yes, this statement is often true. People either lack the motivation, the structure, the self-discipline, the willpower, or the stamina to work on their own; in addition, I would say extraverts like the opportunity to share and work with others.

    Since this, to me, is the primary function of classes, students should succeed with an A every time if they 1. Attend every class and participate by taking notes, paying attention, and completing classwork. 2. Do all homework assigned. and 3. Study these two things before tests.
    Hmm, now this is a tricky thing. Attendance is, of course, very important. It shows that you are engaged, and sometimes you can miss important details if you are not there.

    I grade participation depending not only on frequency, but also on quality, which I am sure you do well.

    Completing classwork is important because it enables you to 'test out' your skills in a 'safe' way that is not graded. It's sort of a test run before the test, and it amazes me that people do not take advantage of it unless they are so great that they do not need the practice, but then they would not be in my class, soooo....

    Ideally people should review their homework and corrections (which will ideally be filled with constructive criticism with improvements if teachers do their work right), study their notes (which should be relevant), and pay attention to get an A. However, not all people possess the same retention ability; many people cannot sift the right/important things from other unimportant matters, or they do not possess the ability to take those facts/ideas and implement them in a new situation. So, no, not everyone who does these things gets an A.


    Here's what I don't understand. Why do teachers bother to set things up in a non-straight forward way? I understand challenging students, but why do things like this:
    - Read entire chapters for homework assignments.
    - Don't assign homework or require any readings but have these things on the test
    - Give notes in class in length and depth that are not at all covered on tests.
    I think, though I am uncertain, that some teachers want to give additional information outside of the written material. In other words, if they just spit out what the reading says, what is the point of class? You could have figured that out on your own. Perhaps they give examples to illustrate the concepts. Or they give information that might not be basic info, but might still prove interesting. Since they cannot go over every single concept on the syllabus (time factor) they focus on the most basic elements and expect you to 'fill in the gaps' and ask questions if you have concerns during office hours? (Just a guess).

    If it's important, it should be on the test. If it's not, there shouldn't be much note-taking on it. If you assign entire chapters and then go over the chapter in class, fine.. but why assign entire chapters and never bother to go over it? This is the reason I go to classes, to avoid reading and attempting to comprehend these things on my own. Why not make things on the test (like assignments online with quizzes pulled verbatim for the test) required homework or classwork?
    Although I agree that all major concepts should be tested one way or another, it is impossible for them all to be covered on a test. For example, we covered letter writing in English class, but I informed the class that due to time concerns, we would not be able to write a letter during the test. Nonetheless, I believe it is a skill we should practice over the course of the year because it is not something that should be crammed into one bit.

    These points are, in my opinion, attempts to trip up students and lower success, which is the opposite of what I thought education was all about and I don't know why teachers do these things. This is especially true for the first tests of the semester, which give you a feel for how following tests will be conducted.. But test scores are a major deal, so knowing what to expect for the first one should be included in detail in comparison to future tests.
    I always indicate what they should expect on the test, although it seems bizarre to me that students do not know what will be on there!!! It is like, well what have we been talking about for the past month??? That's probably going to be on there lol. Amusing. Anyway, despite that crazy fact, I always tell them the form and topics to expect so that there are no bad surprises.

    Two examples: We have to write an essay on Obama, Hannity, and Maddow on healthcare. The essay needs to be at least two pages, and we have to watch hours of videos throughout the course of a couple weeks to create this essay. ... It's world religion class, and none of it pertains to neither world religion itself or the test we need to have it done by. We also took lengthy notes on different philosophers on religion, tons of vocabulary, and none of any of it was on the test. Infact, the only thing that was on the test was questions taken straight out of a chapter. We never talked about feminism once, but had questions about it on the test. The class average was a 70, with only one A at 90.
    I *could* see how this is relevant if you are talking about Catholicism and/or Christianity and the sense of 'social justice' and whether or not that is applicable in the various policy programs of these officials. However, it is rather vague, I agree....It's probably relating to the policies, the religious stances, and how they correlate or do not....Or posing other alternatives relating to other philosophies and/or religions you have discussed.

    Biology class never required chapter reading, masteringbiology.com's assignments, etc. as homework. We take extensive notes in the class, the teacher talks in tantrums and gets off subject, tells the class that the tests are more lecture based and note-based, and gives a review sheet covering the four chapters. Many questions were lifted directly from the book and the website's quizzes and weren't covered in class, and many questions on the review never made it to the test.. but there were plenty of questions omitted from the review. Class average was a 59, with the highest score an 82.
    Regarding review: The professor is not allowed to say what is on the test, so he/she must include relevant things that would be test material (perhaps on another test) however are not on it. I don't pull that kind of crap, but some teachers do.

    Regarding pulling questions out of the book: That is just bullshit. Doesn't this person have any creativity? Jesus Christ.

    Oh well, some teachers/profs are just lazy.

    Why would teachers set things up in a way where the students are going to struggle and fail so much?
    Shit, I'm wondering in another thread how come my students are struggling and failing so much when I:

    a) Specifically stated what would be tested and in what way/form
    b) Practiced with them countless times in concrete and abstract forms, in a structured and free way
    c) Given them so many opportunities to ask for extra help or ask questions, etc.

    LOL Damn, you should be my student! :-P


    To summarize: I understand challenge is good and all, but where do you cross the line between the professor being lazy and undedicated, and where students want their hands held?
    Damn, that is a good question. When you figure out the answer, let me know (the other way around, I mean).

    As a teacher, we can often be just as frustrated over a situation. I have four classes that I love, and two classes that drive me nuts. The dynamic is bullshit - 5% of the class is under-challenged, which makes them disturb my class; 70% is over-challenged, and they just fall down; 25% of the class is okay and doing fine.

    Dilemma: Reduce the expectations and you lose 30% of the class, who will disrupt the others; raise the expectations, and 70% of the class fails. Keep the expectations the same and 75% of the class is unhappy.

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HH!
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  10. #20
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I know this sounds like an angry fit, but I really do want some input as to the different thought processes when it comes to teaching, as I've noticed a total lack of efficiency in my classes this semester in comparison to other classes in previous semesters.

    I'm under the impression that students take classes because it's difficult to learn it on your own in comparison to having someone with expertise teaching you. That's why people take classes normally instead of reading and testing out of courses.

    Since this, to me, is the primary function of classes, students should succeed with an A every time if they 1. Attend every class and participate by taking notes, paying attention, and completing classwork. 2. Do all homework assigned. and 3. Study these two things before tests.

    Here's what I don't understand. Why do teachers bother to set things up in a non-straight forward way? I understand challenging students, but why do things like this:
    - Read entire chapters for homework assignments.
    - Don't assign homework or require any readings but have these things on the test
    - Give notes in class in length and depth that are not at all covered on tests.

    If it's important, it should be on the test. If it's not, there shouldn't be much note-taking on it. If you assign entire chapters and then go over the chapter in class, fine.. but why assign entire chapters and never bother to go over it? This is the reason I go to classes, to avoid reading and attempting to comprehend these things on my own. Why not make things on the test (like assignments online with quizzes pulled verbatim for the test) required homework or classwork?

    These points are, in my opinion, attempts to trip up students and lower success, which is the opposite of what I thought education was all about and I don't know why teachers do these things. This is especially true for the first tests of the semester, which give you a feel for how following tests will be conducted.. But test scores are a major deal, so knowing what to expect for the first one should be included in detail in comparison to future tests.

    Two examples: We have to write an essay on Obama, Hannity, and Maddow on healthcare. The essay needs to be at least two pages, and we have to watch hours of videos throughout the course of a couple weeks to create this essay. ... It's world religion class, and none of it pertains to neither world religion itself or the test we need to have it done by. We also took lengthy notes on different philosophers on religion, tons of vocabulary, and none of any of it was on the test. Infact, the only thing that was on the test was questions taken straight out of a chapter. We never talked about feminism once, but had questions about it on the test. The class average was a 70, with only one A at 90.

    Biology class never required chapter reading, masteringbiology.com's assignments, etc. as homework. We take extensive notes in the class, the teacher talks in tantrums and gets off subject, tells the class that the tests are more lecture based and note-based, and gives a review sheet covering the four chapters. Many questions were lifted directly from the book and the website's quizzes and weren't covered in class, and many questions on the review never made it to the test.. but there were plenty of questions omitted from the review. Class average was a 59, with the highest score an 82.

    Why would teachers set things up in a way where the students are going to struggle and fail so much?

    To summarize: I understand challenge is good and all, but where do you cross the line between the professor being lazy and undedicated, and where students want their hands held?
    The important things to keep in mind as a premed are:
    1. Physics/orgo/biochem as prerequisites--note the difference between these classes being hoops to jump for medical school and these classes being foundational for their academia purposes (people who are going to graduate studies in physics or chemistry)

    2. You're in hoop-jump mode because your goal is grades. There are actually people who want to learn the material because they're interested in it--the latter is the objective of university. This is no longer high school. (Not meant as an insult, meant to contrast your understanding of the education system to what it was before and what it is now.)

    3. Good profs want you to form a complex mental architecture about the topic. You simply can't do this if you're not sinking deep into the material (namely, reading the book thoroughly, engaging with the topic in a number of ways like lab work or tests).

    Your goals are to hoop-jump, which fits with the high-school system well, but it is not the point of university. Anyone complaining about reading extra material in university than what is tested is completely missing the point of university (forming complex mental architecture on the subject). If your goals are different, you should learn to game the system for your purposes (and recognize that complaining about this gives the impression that you don't value the purpose of your education beyond what your transcript can do for you, which is annoying to people who value uni for its given purpose).
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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