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Do We Trust Our Students?

July 14, 2011

Read this blog post today and felt I should do what I can to spread the word.  The question is valid and promotes reflection more than anything I’ve read lately.  Over the years I’ve done a lot of cool and relevant projects in my physics classes, and these, to a large extent, require students be self-motivated.  I think I can say I trusted them.  I’ve never batted 1.000, however.  There have always been kids who fritter the time away socializing or goofing.  Has anyone batted 1.000?


From → Thoughts & Ideas

  1. Interesting post. Maintaining a 1.000 ratio is in many ways easier. With a 1.000, you can just talk about/present same things each year. This caters to short-term retention rather than internalizing content long-term though.

    Levels of trust with students is definitely worth self-reflection and may have much to do with how class is structured. But also, I think it is fear of spending too much time on “exploring”–and spending time away from fact-based assessment driven curriculum–that can stifle teaching/learning. Quality discussions take time, especially if students are truly engaged. And let’s face it, if your job depends on itemized end of instruction assessment results, how willing are you going to be to move away from a traditional spoonfeeding model of instruction (even if it is less effective for long-term internalization)?

  2. Nice post. Trust is a very important, yet very fragile connection with students. I believe one way to build this trust is to have a great rapport with students. When they see how much you care about them, they will trust you have the best intentions for them. It doesn’t come easy, but it goes very quickly.

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