Author Topic: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled  (Read 66896 times)

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Offline ex-Sup

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Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« on: April 06, 2009, 17:03:46 »
Thought this might be relevant, since many of the same issues pop up in college and the workplace ie. the CF. Actually there was a comment from a section commander in the feedback. I was pretty worked up over some of the comments that were posted, and I did post a few replies.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090406/student_study_090406/20090406?hub=TopStories

Any thoughts?
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Offline jp86

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 17:19:06 »
I wonder to what extent this reflects the fact that simply more people are going to university than in the past.  Assuming aptitude is correlated with preparedness, if you bring more people in, your average level of preparedness is going to go down.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 18:39:36 »
How often have we witnessed this phenomenon here on Army.ca:

Quote
Survey respondents reported students had lower writing and numeric skills, lower maturity, and a belief that good grades are an entitlement.
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Offline Nauticus

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 19:24:33 »
Universities used to accept only the top, like, 5%-10% of their applicants annually. Now, they accept a higher amount than they used to. I imagine that would play a role.

I might sound like an old timer (I'm definitely not...) but I blame the text messaging and instant messaging. lol r u comin 2 tha prty  probably isn't positively helping a person's spelling and grammar. :)
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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 19:58:15 »
I might sound like an old timer (I'm definitely not...) but I blame the text messaging and instant messaging. lol r u comin 2 tha prty  probably isn't positively helping a person's spelling and grammar. :)

That, and does anyone remember when they allowed kids in school to use phonetic spelling?
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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 20:01:07 »
I wonder to what extent this reflects the fact that simply more people are going to university than in the past. 

No it does not. My daughter is in grade 6 and i see the same attitudes in her peers. I see the same attitudes in new recruits the CF gets........

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 20:34:34 »
In three years this attitude has arisen?

Nobody asks why in just 3 years there is such a shift in attitude and decrease in scholastic skills.

Society does not change like that so quickly. Perhaps a certain group of students from a certain area, or a certain school but not all 55% of all first year students across 22 Ontario universities.

This MSN report sensationalizes peoples opinion, without the facts to back it up.

edit: why print media is better than TV media:
from Toronto Star:
Quote
"The question on student preparedness was part of a larger survey of professors completed in February and March that asked about all aspects of campus life. More than 60 per cent of professors said they were teaching larger classes than three years ago, and that not only has hiring slowed down, but so has the creation of full-time tenured positions – which was an issue in the recent strike by teaching assistants and contract faculty at York University.

As for first-year students, Brown said professors don't think they have the needed critical thinking or math skills, and they lack the ability to learn independently".

bold emphasis is mine.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 20:46:29 by SFB »
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Offline ex-Sup

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 21:01:34 »
Universities used to accept only the top, like, 5%-10% of their applicants annually. Now, they accept a higher amount than they used to. I imagine that would play a role.
The minimum averages are dropping too. In '92 in needed an 88% to get into Concurrent Ed at Queen's (I didn't even bother writing the 500 essay why I want to come to Queen's); I squeaked into the program at LU with 79%. Now I'm hearing they take students with grades as low as 65%. I've scratched me head at many a convocation thinking "they're going to be a teacher?"

I might sound like an old timer (I'm definitely not...) but I blame the text messaging and instant messaging. lol r u comin 2 tha prty  probably isn't positively helping a person's spelling and grammar. :)
Awe frick, don't even get me started  >:(
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 21:04:22 by ex-Sup »
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Offline Piper

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009, 21:16:19 »
Wow, really? I never would have guessed it, students with a sense of entitlement? You don't say.

Offline ex-Sup

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 21:18:10 »
In three years this attitude has arisen?
Nobody asks why in just 3 years there is such a shift in attitude and decrease in scholastic skills.
Myself and my colleagues have been noticing for quite some time (11 years for me). However, no one has been listening.

Certainly things have been magnified in the last few years with the elimination of OAC in Ontario. Many of these 17 year olds (and many 18 year olds) are not ready, especially with regards to maturity. This is why, even though they got rid of the 5th year, many come back for the "victory lap."

IMHO (+ many years of experience in the field), most of the time the issue can be traced back home. The kids who have a  lot of parental involvement and support are generally not lazy or apathetic. Perfect example: parent teacher interviews/conferences. In the majority of cases, the parents who show up are the ones who have 80+%; the ones who just want to meet you and say "hi."
Anyway, as the saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far....
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Offline leroi

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2009, 21:26:37 »
In three years this attitude has arisen?

Nobody asks why in just 3 years there is such a shift in attitude and decrease in scholastic skills.

Society does not change like that so quickly. Perhaps a certain group of students from a certain area, or a certain school but not all 55% of all first year students across 22 Ontario universities.

This MSN report sensationalizes peoples opinion, without the facts to back it up.

edit: why print media is better than TV media:
from Toronto Star:
bold emphasis is mine.

SFB, It may be sensationalized somewhat. However, it's not completely unture.  I believe the problem started in the 1970s in reaction to the 1960s when a new "child-centered learner model" was introduced in Ontario: Build self-esteem in the student first and learning the 3 R's would follow. This is when the experts decided to do away with formal methods of teaching like memorization skills, phonetic learning, spelling tests, etc. This new model came out of Toronto; it omitted a basic human development tenet: i.e. confidence and self-esteem are realized in an indivdual only after skills and learning take place, not before.

It was in the 1970s that common curriculum, common testing and religion were banished from Ontario public schools.

More recently, the problem was exacerbated when Ontario decided to get rid of grade 13--the standard university prep year and an important biological maturation age. That one year makes a huge impact on the level of emotional readiness of the average entering year student. Many students in Ontario now opt to spend 2 years completing grade 12--"the victory lap" as ex-Sup says.



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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2009, 21:27:40 »
Certainly things have been magnified in the last few years with the elimination of OAC in Ontario. Many of these 17 year olds (and many 18 year olds) are not ready, especially with regards to maturity. This is why, even though they got rid of the 5th year, many come back for the "victory lap."

When I read the comments to the original story, I was struck by how many people said "Bring back Grade 13."  Is Ontario's curriculum so poor that another year of school is required?  I know New Brunswick has one of the best in the country, maybe that's why we were better prepared.  ;)  IMHO, I don't think the extra year (in age or school) would change the sense of entitlement.*

IMHO (+ many years of experience in the field), most of the time the issue can be traced back home. The kids who have a  lot of parental involvement and support are generally not lazy or apathetic. Perfect example: parent teacher interviews/conferences. In the majority of cases, the parents who show up are the ones who have 80+%; the ones who just want to meet you and say "hi."
Anyway, as the saying goes, the apple doesn't fall far....

Totally agree with you there.

*Edit to add:  It would be interesting to know the demographics of the students as I'm sure they're probably not all from Ontario.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 21:30:26 by PMedMoe »
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Offline Lil_T

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2009, 21:45:21 »
That, and does anyone remember when they allowed kids in school to use phonetic spelling?

YES!!  Phonetic spelling was awesome. -confused phonetic spelling with Phonics for reading, it's late...  :P  I don't understand today's teaching methods - doesn't seem like kids learn anything.  And I found out through a teacher friend of mine that Upper Canada District School Board *not sure about other Ontario Boards* subscribe to the No Child Left Behind program.  It boggles my mind, but the sense of entitlement around good grades that kids have makes total sense in that regard.  They can't fail throughout elementary and secondary school.  Why would they feel otherwise in University or heck even the real world?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 22:59:54 by Lil_T »
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Offline ex-Sup

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2009, 21:46:53 »
When I read the comments to the original story, I was struck by how many people said "Bring back Grade 13."  Is Ontario's curriculum so poor that another year of school is required?
No, it's more of a maturity thing Moe. If you're born late in the year (like me 12/27), you're 17 and in university. I was 18 under the old system, but I think I was pretty mature. I think it's even worse if you're going out of town. I remember a story a former student told me. She spent a few years in town at LU, then went on to Guelph (she was 20). Her roomate was 17. She filled her side of the dorm fridge with juice and fruit; her roomie stocked her side with booze. Some of these kids aren't mature enough for high school, let alone post secondary.

One of the biggest problems is the enabling. Many parents go to extremes to defend their kids, and that has even spread to university. Parents calling profs to complain about marks, ask for assignment extensions, etc. My old man would have kicked me in the *** and then slapped me upside the head with the handset.
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Offline Nauticus

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2009, 22:03:03 »
So now that we see how scholastic skills have dropped, where does the sense of entitlement come from?

Despite popular opinion, university students are not spoiled brats, so that is not where it comes from.
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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2009, 22:09:35 »
Despite popular opinion, university students are not spoiled brats, so that is not where it comes from.

Unless said university student is working themselves through school, I would say that the popular opinion is correct. Being around Queens and RMC since I was 17, you learn to tell who the spoiled brats are who use OSAP and mommy+daddy's money to coast through school, and those that have 2 jobs in order to afford tuition.

Offline ex-Sup

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2009, 22:12:08 »
Despite popular opinion, university students are not spoiled brats, so that is not where it comes from.

One of the biggest problems is the enabling. Many parents go to extremes to defend their kids, and that has even spread to university. Parents calling profs to complain about marks, ask for assignment extensions, etc. My old man would have kicked me in the *** and then slapped me upside the head with the handset.
Shall I elaborate?
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Offline Another Mom

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2009, 22:25:28 »
Maybe the students who want to work hard and learn something aren't bothering to go to Universities where:  there are 250-750 in a class;  where they are taught by grad students,   lecturers or  video;  where they take multiple-choice exams, etc.  The undergrad students I know who are in small classes, who write papers that are critiqued, who discuss their readings in class, who take oral exams and learn to defend their statements very work hard.

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2009, 22:42:53 »
Well, how's this for a different spin...let's talk about those who are answering the question. No one has mentioned anything about the profs themselves (other than the comments by Another Mom).

Now I'm not assuming that teachers are perfect, because we're not, but universities and profs are not untouchable either. I can remember some good ones, but also some not so good ones. There were some that were completely out of touch with reality and what was going on around them.

This is one of the key issues out there, especially for us in the educational community. The world around us is changing, and at times changing more quickly than we can adapt to it. Balancing fundamentals and the new reality is tough, and only going to get tougher. I've shown the following video to both my students and some of my colleagues. This is what we're dealing with here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpEnFwiqdx8
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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2009, 23:02:49 »
Twenty years ago I ran an Infantry Phase IV course.  There were students on the course (not all, but some) who, when they were told they had failed an assessment, acted as if it was the first time in their lives they had heard that word applied directly to them.  The rewarding of youth for effort over performance, with its resulting expectations when they finally interact with the real world outside of their early parent controlled lives and the "whole language" learning environments, is not that new.

Offline leroi

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2009, 23:04:46 »
So now that we see how scholastic skills have dropped, where does the sense of entitlement come from?

Despite popular opinion, university students are not spoiled brats, so that is not where it comes from.

Nauticus, of course there are many hard-working, mature, well-adjusted university students too. We are discussing general trends, only.  :nod:

A history professor might say the sense of entitlement is cultural and stems from "the cult of the individual" that began in the middle of the last century. It's still being debated.

Maybe the students who want to work hard and learn something aren't bothering to go to Universities where:  there are 250-750 in a class;  where they are taught by grad students,   lecturers or  video;  where they take multiple-choice exams, etc.  The undergrad students I know who are in small classes, who write papers that are critiqued, who discuss their readings in class, who take oral exams and learn to defend their statements very work hard.

Another Mom,

The decline of the university system is another hugely contended issue! I did my undergrad at a small university and rate it quite high. I didn't have one TA the entire time.  I'm still friends with some of my professors/mentors and have the fondest memories of my time at Nipissing University--and, I worked my @ss off.

I remember sitting in a Philosophy class trying to read Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The entire class was getting so frustrated the professor hauled us off to the student bar for beer where we discussed Kant's work until everyone had an understanding.   

Offline benny88

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2009, 23:09:09 »
One of the biggest problems is the enabling. Many parents go to extremes to defend their kids, and that has even spread to university. Parents calling profs to complain about marks, ask for assignment extensions, etc. My old man would have kicked me in the *** and then slapped me upside the head with the handset.

    My biggest pet peeve! An acquaintance told me just last week that his parents had called the Associate Dean on his behalf and half my milk came out my nose. I couldn't believe that a 20 year old still had his parents going to bat for him, and apart from the obvious cons, the questions and answers will probably get lost in translation anyways, it's much easier to get an answer without playing the game of telephone: student-parent-teacher/prof-parent-student.
     Last time I tried to pull a stunt like that I was 14 and tried to get my mom to call in sick to work for me. She learned me real quick.
    On the issue of the 5th year, I think it's tremendous. A family member of mine is head of a high school guidance dept and says she sees more well-rounded people go off and have success at university after staying 5 years. I think higher marks are up for debate, and that that is a lot of genetics anyways, but there's more to life and university than academics, and it's these things that can make you a more productive and ultimately, happy, person.
     Example: a young lady came to UWO having skipped a grade and turned 17 in the fall of our first year. She celebrated, and off she went to the hospital to get her stomach pumped. Now don't get me wrong, I'll knock back a few, especially on my birthday; but in this case, the lack of maturity on her part wasn't just detrimental, it was dangerous.
     Some of you who are further removed from that stage of your life may have forgotten just how much you can change in a single year (hormones are a wonderful thing), I definitely believe I was more successful in university and in training after a 5th year, and I would fully support bringing back OAC.



PS for those of you considering a 5th year before joining the military, it didn't hurt that I was a little bigger, faster, and stronger when I was 19 as opposed to 18.
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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2009, 23:14:23 »
I just wrote half a novel in this post talking about and trying to justify/explain what I'm about to say. Then I realized, I'm only preaching to the choir if I post on here, so I don't think I will need to draw a picture in crayon to explain myself and avoid being chastised for saying this.

It's (education, military, whatever the topic) because our society is becoming more and more left-wing.

I don't think it has anything to do with kids going to university too early or whatever. By the time you're 18, if you're parents died and left nothing behind, and you had to start at ground zero, you should be capable of keeping your head above water. You don't need your parents to deal with your problems anymore, they're YOUR problems.

EDIT to add: Also, this university students being spoiled brats thing, completely false. I would say 90% of my peers would describe themselves as dirt poor, and it is no exaggeration. I'm one of the few that's not in debt up to my ears.

As for lowering standards, that depends on schools. Most schools have minimums of 65% however, that does not mean a 65% will get you in. Some schools will take anybody, they need/want your money. Other schools, with more prestige, don't.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 23:19:10 by ballz »
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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2009, 23:19:20 »
Re: the 5th year of high school.

In my opinion, many are taking this option to make up for not applying themselves in the preceding four years as much as they should have, or to have a virtual "gap year" before they have to work at university (assuming they intent to).  My son was in the very first 4-year cohort.  He had decided by the end of Grade 9 what his post-secondary plan was, he ensured he took the right prerequisites in each of Grades 10, 11 and 12, and walked into the highly sought after university co-op course he'd set his sights on four years earlier.  The 5th year was dropped because it was unnecessary for those who are actually trying to learn and have some focus for the future.

Offline benny88

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Re: Profs say students lack maturity, feel entitled
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2009, 23:25:24 »
The 5th year was dropped because it was unnecessary for those who are actually trying to learn and have some focus for the future.

It's not fair to assume every person who takes the 5th year isn't driven or is a slacker. I will say that I'm sure there are people who do it for that reason though. You can't generalize either way.
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