Saturday, January 28, 2012

Couldn’t have said it better myself

“….the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you have mastered the material. It is not on me to demonstrate that you have not.”

It’s interesting that in all this conversation about what the role of a teacher is supposed to be in society (supplier of information, role model, instigator of creative expression, God) we fail to mention the original role of the student in the whole process. 

We seem to forget that the students have a job.  In all this fluffy conversation about self-esteem and creativity and collaboration, we seem to forget that the transfer of knowledge needs to take place and that students are responsible for actually knowing something when they leave.  Oh, and knowing something more than learning to be inquisitive.  Wanting to be a life-long learner doesn’t accomplish the desired result if one just keeps wanting to be a life-long learner while learning nothing right now.

Get it?

Economics professor Art Carden had a good article in Forbes that reminds us that students earning grades is good.  Being a professional and a mentor is good.   And having students meet standards and prove to themselves that they know something is good.  Sometimes we as teachers need to remember that in the end the student needs to value their education, and that they need to work hard at achieving maximum benefit. 

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