One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

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#1 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:55 AM

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Inside the entitlement generation

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Many students openly admit their goal is to succeed with the least amount of effort. And many universities make this easy for them.


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The entitlement mindset didn’t come from nowhere. It came from us. It came from a generation of adults who believed that kids should never be allowed to fail, or told the truth about their abilities, or learn that getting what you want is sometimes hard.


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University should be for students who are interested in, and capable of, high-level work.


It is with that last quote that I most agree. A generation (or more) of students are being brought up by their parents to think they must go to college, led into this belief by the media and those in the ivory towers who stand to gain from just such a tenet. Perhaps most infuriating is that businesses follow right along, demanding degrees for tasks where a degree absolutely need not be a requirement. It is indeed rare to find a job listing not demanding a Bachelor's degree nowadays.

The educational system is broken, and there seems to be no fix in sight. There needs to be a sea change from the top down, but with upper education being the cash cow that it is, it seems unlikely to happen.

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Replies To: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

#2 elgose  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 17 September 2011 - 02:41 PM

Good article.

I don't know how many times I've seen classmates scurrying around on RateMyProfessor or similar sites to discover which professors have the easiest tests, the least demanding assignments, and the biggest curve - or even the hotness scale? Really? THAT is a factor in choosing the ideal Professor in your education?!?

The "...capable of, high level work." part is very interesting. I'm the first to admit that I have SO much to learn in computer science and programming to be considered anything more than novice, but some of my peers seem down right unable to comprehend some basic concepts. Lack of effort or intelligence limitations or both? Not sure, but they're getting high marks with 0 improvement.

This post has been edited by elgose: 17 September 2011 - 02:46 PM

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#3 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:41 PM

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Many students openly admit their goal is to succeed with the least amount of effort. And many universities make this easy for them.

Just playing devil's advocate here. People spend their resources in such a way as to gain the most happiness. Time is such a resource. So it stands to reason that students will allocate their time this way as well. What I think most students miss nowadays is the long-term benefits of spending their time on classes to knock things out. That learning can benefit them long-term.

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The entitlement mindset didn’t come from nowhere. It came from us. It came from a generation of adults who believed that kids should never be allowed to fail, or told the truth about their abilities, or learn that getting what you want is sometimes hard.

When I was in middle and high school, I saw this attitude a lot in parents. If their kids failed, the parents would go in and throw their weight around until they got things changed. I really wanted to beat these people with a baseball bat. Truly, they need to get over themselves. They were just as special snowflakes as their children.

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University should be for students who are interested in, and capable of, high-level work.

This 100%. I am the biggest advocate for weed-out classes. The goal shouldn't be to fail students, but to give them such a strong, comprehensive and thorough understanding of the course to prepare them for the next level. The students who can will generally succeed. Those who can't won't go onto the next level. At Tech, day one in general engineering, the professor tells everyone this isn't a weedout class and is designed to prepare us for engineering and that everyone can succeed! Really, it's a busy work course. But the attitude made me sad. Even when I was in Data Structures I, the foci were on anal formatting over function in many cases.

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The top 15 per cent or 20 per cent – the same students who would have gone to university a generation ago – really do crave intellectual engagement. They really will land jobs at $53,000 a year, and up.

I advocate this as well. I believe that there are jobs out there for top-notch talent, and I always advocate to pick a trade or two you can do well, become the best you possibly can at it, and be able to show it.
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#4 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 18 September 2011 - 11:57 AM

I will agree with this but weed out classes make me nervous. I know I'm capable, I just have serious issues focusing. My boss says I'm a wizard with a computer and could probably program in my sleep, but I still get bad grades. Why? I just can't focus nor comprehend what I'm reading. Show me how to do it with a quick, concise explanation why and I've got it. Book work isn't really my thing, I'm a get-my-hands-dirty learning type, and unfortunately this is causing me to get washed out of a lot a "weed-out" classes the first time around.
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#5 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:39 AM

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the foci were on anal formatting


I think my brain segfaulted trying to parse that.
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#6 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:52 AM

View PostNeoTifa, on 18 September 2011 - 11:57 AM, said:

I will agree with this but weed out classes make me nervous. I know I'm capable, I just have serious issues focusing. My boss says I'm a wizard with a computer and could probably program in my sleep, but I still get bad grades. Why? I just can't focus nor comprehend what I'm reading. Show me how to do it with a quick, concise explanation why and I've got it. Book work isn't really my thing, I'm a get-my-hands-dirty learning type, and unfortunately this is causing me to get washed out of a lot a "weed-out" classes the first time around.


Don't feel bad Neo, this happens with a lot of people these days. The problem seems to be a generational one that is getting worse as well. With all the increased stimuli of technology, games and the lack of consequences for not paying attention it has caused a shorter and shorter attention span. This in turn leads to people who don't have the patience nor the ability to concentrate long enough on text or theory and opt for the quick "show me an example" type of learning.

For this very reason I think it is important that we don't fully get rid of books in exchange for web articles. On the web people can scan the text much easier and have less comprehension, not to mention doesn't help with patience and attention spans.

:)
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#7 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 19 September 2011 - 12:26 PM

I beg to differ about the attention span explanation for Neo's issue.

It isn't a new thing where some people prefer a hands on approach to learning. It has been around for a long time. This is what apprenticing and the sort is all about. Hands on learning can require just as long of an attention span, but engages the student in a different manner, that for some people is better.

My complaint is that the education system doesn't understand, and hasn't for a very long time, that not everybody learns in the same manner.

I personally have always been a hands on, self directed, auto-didactic learner. All the things I'm great at I was basically thrown into the deep end and left to sink or swim. This is the method I best learn, and schools for the most part not only avoided it, but flat out shunned it.

When I was in college every semester of math I would find myself looking at next semester's work for engaging material, problem would be is that come next semester I had already learned what was going to be given to me, so I would find myself jumping ahead again, causing a vicious cycle of always being bored in my current classes. This isn't an attention span issue, this is my classes lacked the ability to engage me, so I went out and did it myself. If you can't keep up with a slow class, you're very slow. If you are bored by a slow class, you are not slow... you're not even in the class anymore.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 19 September 2011 - 12:29 PM

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#8 Smurphy  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 08:18 AM

First off, I want to point out that I am a current college student and that I am a computer science major. Secondly, thank you lord of duct, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Now, I do agree that many people in college do not get what it is really for and that many of this younger generation do feel entitled to everything. The key really is to hold both the teachers and students responsible, at least in regard to education. Students should not be rewarded for unsatisfactory behavior and work. I remember when I was younger my dad yelling at my teacher about a paper I wrote. Want to know why he was yelling? She gave me an B and he thought I deserved a C at the HIGHEST. But this point go's both ways.

Teachers should also be held accountable for bad behavior. I have a calc teacher now who when asked a question sighs, quite audibly and says "Why don't you understand you should know this. It is easy." Teachers get away with just as much as the students. Both parties need to be punished for bad behavior and rewarded for good behavior.
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#9 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 08:45 AM

So we all agree that it's not my fault? ;)

In all seriousness, we only have 10 weeks to learn the material, and so they rush trying to get through it. I don't know about the other kids, but it seems like I'm consistently 1 week behind the curve. I'm always late to the party! Maybe they need to slow down? Or maybe I just need more one-on-one tutoring where somebody sits there and explains it to me? I'd say both. >__<
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#10 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:13 PM

i think the biggest issue with the education system is inefficiency of work to learning. I see this in all my classes, teachers pound things into our heads rather than telling us to think... god that annoys me! If schools actually asked students to think, god forbid, school would be so much more enjoyable. This idea that everyone has to graduate high school and each class is designed to teach a specific test(or part) basically guaranties that you won't learn anything. That coupled with the fact that even people that don't particularly want to take higher level math classes feel the compulsion to do so to help them get into, possibly better, collage. people need to learn to think for god sakes!

FUCK standardized tests and FUCK no child left behind

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This post has been edited by ishkabible: 20 September 2011 - 01:18 PM

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#11 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 05:45 PM

First off, I think high school plays has a bit of the fault here. Teachers in high school always give students some slack for not being able to pass a project or being
able to do something, and this gives students the mindset that "My teacher would probably give me a special project/will never fail me/will give me 805%/gives high marks.." so that they don't
really study that hard. I know. I've been there. Then I came to the university. My first semester, I was shocked. 3 of my grades were below 80. One of them even was 75%.

The transition from high schools to university is not something I've expected to be hard, but there it is. I should have studied more when I was in high school, but the way my teachers and fellow classmates influenced how I look at our school system and it made me a poor student at college.

The sad thing about opening up more vocational courses and championing their cause once again is most of the companies value where the student graduated from. If it's vocational, more likely than not they would choose someone from a college/university no matter how obscure it is. Some companies only do "aptitude tests" then rely on interviews with HR people, not tech people and this makes people of little to no knowledge get in good jobs that otherwise skilled people could have been filling in.

In my country if you graduate the first question of anyone would be "where did you graduate from", not "did you learn something" or "are you equipped enough to find a job". Sad.
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#12 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 05:52 PM

In regards to posts by NeoTifa, Martyr2, & lordofduct, I just scrolled through them.
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#13 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:25 PM

In talking with one of my high school teachers one time, he gave me some insight into why teachers have to be so lenient. He told me that if a student fails, there has to be a TON of paperwork along the way where the student repeatedly failed multiple retakes. From a resource management point of view, it almost isn't worth it for the teacher to keep making retakes if the student isn't taking it seriously or will keep failing. Cutting them slack is the easy way out. While I think there are a ton of awful high school teachers, I have had a ton of really great ones as well across. So I can't simply cast all the blame to high school. I think if students are looking for an easy way out, there will be one throughout grade school. This applies to a certain extent in college as well. We have conversations about this all the time regarding graduating programmers.

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The key really is to hold both the teachers and students responsible, at least in regard to education. Students should not be rewarded for unsatisfactory behavior and work. I remember when I was younger my dad yelling at my teacher about a paper I wrote. Want to know why he was yelling? She gave me an B and he thought I deserved a C at the HIGHEST. But this point go's both ways.

This goes the other way as well. In more cases, I see parents going and playing politics at the school until their child's grade is changed. I think while parental involvement is important in a child's education, let's balance that out so the teachers don't have to suffer the effects of parents with overinflated egos.

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When I was in college every semester of math I would find myself looking at next semester's work for engaging material, problem would be is that come next semester I had already learned what was going to be given to me, so I would find myself jumping ahead again, causing a vicious cycle of always being bored in my current classes. This isn't an attention span issue, this is my classes lacked the ability to engage me

In college, I've found so far that if I know the material for a class (and am aware of this early on), then it's possible to get out of it through a credit by exam. I've always found this to be the case in IT/CS classes though. Even in cases where the teacher is awesome.
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#14 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:44 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 20 September 2011 - 06:52 PM, said:

In regards to posts by NeoTifa, Martyr2, & lordofduct, I just scrolled through them.

HAHAHAHA! --/well, then again. That shows that you know WHAT's important :)

Back in grade school all the teachers cared about was passing the state tests to show that they where doing their jobs. The teachers drilled into our heads that college was going to be super hard. Once I went to college I found that it was a breeze (compared to what the teachers preached). I saw "free ride" student's and I saw hard working students, plus we had teachers that where bad and teachers that were good. I fond that the good teachers (while their material was hard and strenuousness) I learned more from them and was better prepared for the real world.

The free ride students lack the real world skills to perform their duties.

One of the guys that got hired in for the same job as me, has his bactulers degree. I only have an associates. The boss has already singled me out twice (right in front of everybody!) as being better and more capable then the guy with the higher degree.

You might want to tell your kids that they need to seek out knowledge from those who know, and not to slack off so much, or as much as everybody else.
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#15 Gorian  Icon User is offline

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Re: One for the "No S***, Sherlock" Files

Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:10 PM

I know that my job (I am on a team that admins and deploys test servers for use by TSEs at a very prominent and well known software and security company) was gotten almost entirely based on experience I got on my own. I have no formal degree, nor no formal experience before this, but I had spent enough time, outside of my schooling (most of which was those core classes that taught me nothing i.e. writing), to be able to show that I qualify for the job. School did not play a large factor in skills to do my job.
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