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From the observation of several college professors (including my wife and mother) the quality of students is definitely going down. I don't think it is intelligence, rather a lack of effort and studiousness, and an entitled mentality.
Examples: 1) students expect to be given the notes in an electronic format 2) students don't submit graded homework 3) students text or surf the web during lecture rather than taking notes 4) students parents call to complain about their kid's grades
Yet, they all think they are going to medical school. My wife is a Chemistry prof, and she has people who fail intro Chem 2 and 3 times thinking they are going to become doctors.
I blame a combination of rampant grade inflation in HS (and on standardized tests) and coddling helicopter parents.
what I've never understood is how so many people seemingly deny or forget how dumb they and their friends were at that age.
The folks I work for/with are helicopter parents. I feel much sympathy for the teachers who dare give their kids anything less than an A- on a test.
hating the ubiquity and overuse of handheld phones is going to go down in my personal history as the line that i crossed into the 'get off my lawn' generation.
Side note: I can't imagine any adult I know being OK with an 11 year old making gunpowder. That said, I'm pretty sure my mother never heard anything about this.
Note2: Gunpowder's trickier to make than we thought. Our rocket just burned.
If cellphones had existed in the days before the Salk vaccine, every circuit in New York City would have broken down from the calls between anxious mothers and their children in upstate Summer camps.
Has taking along an actual book occurred to you? Not being snarky; I just assume that your latter sentence would no longer be applicable.
Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?
I used to. It just changed the question to "you're reading in a bar? Really?"
I would think part of being fundamentally sound is knowing when you haven't been given the bunt sign. :-)
Has anyone ever kept track of failed attempts to sacrifice? That would be a sort of interesting stat.
Serious question - why would anyone go to a bar to read a book? You can read a book at home, and the drinks are much cheaper there. I thought the major selling point for bars was to be around other people?
Most bars are lit pretty dimly, no? I suppose Nooks are self-illuminating, though, which would be another reason to prefer one over a book.
My wife gets exactly the same crap. She has 6 hours of office hours every week, and is available after class. Students don't show up. They make appointments and then still don't show up. But, the day before the exam, they want he to come in on her one off-day to tutor them.
I get that, but, why a bar and not a coffee shop, diner or restaurant?
I'm just shocked at how the students don't learn. I mean, you don't do the homework or pay attention, and you get 30% on the first test. Do they come for help? Do they start turning in the homework? Nope, they think it'll magically turn around. They repeat this for the whole semester, get an F, and then rinse and repeat in summer school, or the next Fall.
I don't think this has anything to do with society, the breakdown of. It's just that 19-year-olds are 19 years old. That's not new.
Except that I'm talking to teachers who've been at it between 8 and 25 years, and they say it's getting much worse.
So do I, but someday the change might actually be decline and the reading might be right.
Thus, the university is no longer a unique institution where less experienced and less knowledgable, still impressionable people go to learn things from wiser, more experienced people -- with the hard work and built-in "power" relationship and "imbalance" inherent to the enterprise -- but instead a place to be "branded" and marketed, and where the students are first and foremost not students, but instead "consumers."
The interesting thing is that the increased cost of college is almost entirely driven by administration. In the last 30 years, the number of faculty per student hasn't risen, faculty pay hasn't exceeded inflation, and endowments have grown.
What has gone up is the number of highly paid administrators. One article I saw is that the administrator:faculty ratio has gone from ~1:5 to 1:1. And the administrators usually make much more than average faculty do.
. Many universities have spent lavishly on various construction projects as well
Yep. Many universities have spent lavishly on various construction projects as well, but administrative bloat is where a great deal of those high tuitions wind up. I hesistate to call it a driver, since I'm not 100% on the causation, but it's certainly where a lot of the money is going.
It's the driver. Those are the people that run the schools, the system is run for their benefit. If Mr. Dean of Students now has 8 Asst. Deans under him making $100-$150K, well then by Jove he needs to make $300K for his vast managerial expertise.
Yeah, but most colleges are non-for-profits and state institutions. They didn't have any imperative to respond to increased demand by raising costs. They could have just expanded enrollment, or become more selective.
I attended Harvard
I'm not sure. I think it's a driver, but I think the larger driver is the massive increase in demand for a college degree, driven in turn by cultural and economic shifts of the past several decades.
My take is that the money comes first, and then you have the question of how to distribute it - to administration, to faculty, to non-faculty workers, to students, to building projects and endowment growth. And the administration are the ones who actually get to make those decisions. The faculty have some structural power, unlike non-faculty workers and students, but the administrators generally see themselves as directly opposed to faculty in a small-scale class conflict, so the faculty gets overrun. And then pretty much all the money goes to the administration, as well as to building projects and endowment growth, which enhance the status of the university and the administration without giving money to other competing groups.
Some of the tuition growth is driven by the administration seeing they can arrogate even more money to themselves, but I think that's more secondary.
One needs to buy and build the facilities that are necessary for top notch education or middle of the road or whatever level it is you want to be.
Did gov't support really go down, or did the schools just decide they needed a whole bunch more "operations"?
People---parents---are obsessed with the thought that you need a degree from one of them to get a job that will enable you to achieve a decent standard of living. With cookie cutter 1 or 2 bedroom "luxury" apartments going for $3,000 a month in cities like Washington---triple or more what they were in constant dollars since the 70's---it's hard to blame either the applicants or their parents from being cold bloodedly realistic about their futures. Anyone who doesn't think that would-be middle class jobseekers aren't being squeezed on both ends these days by a combination of the tight job market and housing costs is simply being in denial.
Blame this sad development on any scapegoat you want, from selfish Baby Boomers to illegal immigrants to affirmative action, but it ain't making the problem go away.
Speaking of bars and restaurants I'm halfway through a stretch of 4 days off in a row and I decided I would prepare everything I ate for those 4 days and not go out and eat.
U.S. universities employed more than 230,000 administrators in 2009, up 60 percent from 1993, or 10 times the rate of growth of the tenured faculty
Not counting the wine I think I spent less than 70 dollars on what will probably amount to 7 or so meals.
And the reason for the explosion in applications to the elite schools is obvious: People---parents---are obsessed with the thought that you need a degree from one of them to get a job that will enable you to achieve a decent standard of living.
I'm probably among the last generation that could get into Ivy league and equivalent schools based on pure academics. All I had going for me was GPA/SAT/GRE."
Maybe one of your relatives is in this program? I kid, I kid. But I can't believe how much more mature this trio was then my siblings were that age. So there's hope out there!
An expensive college degree is practically worthless to someone of average intelligence (if they even graduate, which is probably less than 50:50).
"What mythical bar was this where three perfect strangers are all sitting next to each other and they all end up talking to each other?"
You must be from the northeast.
but there are so many factors that go into its development that pointing fingers at individuals doesn't really explain all that much.
The Millennial generation, statistically, is more involved politically than their Boomer / Gen-X parents. They are more likely to have volunteered, more likely to consider political activism to be a useful thing. I see no evidence that we're raising a generation of checked-out apathetics - quite the opposite in fact.
"The one thing that strikes me, though, is how utterly ####### dumb my nieces and nephews and cousins in their late teens and early twenties are."
I, like everyone over 25, was once in my late teens and early 20s, and I have no problem recalling how mind boggling stupid (and yet self assure) I and my peers were at that age, what I've never understood is how so many people seemingly deny or forget how dumb they and their friends were at that age.
Spending one's entire life in a continuously networked world is the new generation gap. Definitely Future Shock-y where things change before we have a chance to understand impact and best practices of them.
I don't even *have* a cel-phone. Top that.
When you get into your 20s and have no interest in film, art, or literature, except as pure entertainment; when politics is boring; when you create literally nothing, not even for the pleasure of beating a drum or sounding out a poem, or chiseling a piece of wood, or even just making a meal, something's wrong.
What is wrong, specifically? You could have just described me instead of your niece. I won't pretend that there's nothing wrong with me, but I'm just not an artsy-fartsy guy.
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