Shawn L. Bird

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easy university December 5, 2012

Filed under: Teaching — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:34 pm
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Is university too easy?  Is high school too easy, so kids aren’t prepared for the rigour of university?

Margaret Wente has an interesting piece in the Globe and Mail today.  She asserts that university is being dumbed down because kids have no work ethic or self-discipline.  Knowing that my English 12 class has a phenomenal average (although there are 23 girls to 6 boys, and that definitely has an impact), I know that most of my students work hard and are able to think critically.

I am always surprised that my grade 9 students don’t know some basic things like grammar, sentences, etc.  When I taught at a Middle Elementary school a couple years ago, I was intrigued to see that the kids are taught the skills repetitively from about grade 2.  I don’t know why the kids think it’s new every time, but I’m sure there is some brain theory at play.  Do people dump previous learning whenever they move from one institution to another?

My students know how to write sentences, craft paragraphs, and properly organize a research paper.  I hope they remember when they get to university!  In the last couple of years I’ve received notes from past students relaying compliments they received on their essays, “You must have had a good English teacher in high school.”  🙂  I hope they all have the same comments on their papers!

What do you think?  Is high school or university too easy these days?



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