The Quantum Pontiff

Teaching Happiness…

…is finding a homework stuck to my door, with duck tape, along with the note “Gone to Mt. Baker” (Mt. Baker is a local ski area.) Actually this reminds me of a policy I’ve always wanted to try: require every student to NOT attend class at least a few times a term. The idea being that it is actually beneficial to at least try to teach yourself the material without guidance from the teacher. Many students probably can learn on their own, but never try, because they equate doing well with attendance. Nudging these students towards that realization, I think, might actually be a good thing.

Comments

  1. #1 Bilal
    November 30, 2007

    What I have always loved about the American system of higher education is that a student is free to attend a lecture and attendance is not mandatory unlike in many colleges in India. Moreover, profs here are on the whole friendly and open to ideas from students. Also it doesn’t hurt to breathe in some of that fresh mountain air and exercise your body from time to time.

  2. #2 Zeno
    December 1, 2007

    My biggest problem with students who cut classes is that so many of them feel entitled to a personal lecture on whatever they missed. Sorry, kids, I’m not a private tutor.

    I do like the idea that they should have the experience of trying to learn on their own. That’s an extremely useful skill. Unfortunately, I recently ran into a situation where a student came to my office after missing class and gave a cogent reason for not having learned any of the missed lesson from his textbook: He can’t read.

    Zounds!