17
   

You raised me this way, now why are you surprised?

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 11:49 am
This article was sent to me by email. Do you agree with it?

I do. I know some young people like this... even though she certainly was not raised this way, my daughter is somewhat like this - everything has to be new and/or brand-name... they don't want to save for things, she's not interested in doing research before she buys, etc. She and her soon-to-be-ex bought two brand new vehicles when they could have bought two slightly used ones for the price of one. I don't see the sense in that, myself, but don't you know, nothing's too good for her. My son, on the other hand, is like me - did I tell you he bought a barbecue with $350 Cdn Tire dollars? lol
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You raised me this way, now why are you surprised?

Susan Martinuk, Calgary Herald
Published: Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, well, well. A generation of kids who were taught to believe they are the centre of the universe and can do no wrong has grown up to believe they are the centre of the universe and can do no wrong. Who would have guessed?

A psychological study published this month in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence reveals that undergraduate university students aged 18 to 25 tend to believe the system should not only revolve around them, but also reward them handsomely for minimal academic efforts.


For example, two-thirds believe that "trying hard" should be enough to influence their course grade. (Unfortunately, there was no followup question to determine if they felt "trying hard" should be a sufficient achievement to give passing grades for budding neurosurgeons or dentists or chartered accountants, etc.). Fully 41 per cent believe they deserve a B grade for completing most of the readings and one-third believe they should get a B just for attending most classes.

Nothing in these statistics suggests that students respect or even understand the significance of correct answers or knowledge and understanding in determining grades.

Their understanding of how the academic system works goes downhill from there. A full 30 per cent think professors should let them take exams at other times so to accommodate personal plans (such as vacations) and 17 per cent believe professors shouldn't mind if they arrive late to class or leave early, while 16.5 per cent believe a professor shouldn't mind if they take phone calls in class.


Clearly, they believe the inmates should be running the asylum.


The study refers to all of the above as academic entitlement -- defined by "expectations of high marks for modest effort and demanding attitudes towards teachers." I prefer to call it, "You raised me this way, now why are you surprised?"


Most experts are convinced that the culprit is a progressive education system that, in the late '60s and early '70s, decided to put the child's self-esteem at the core of the school curriculum instead of education. Suddenly teachers were raising children to feel good about themselves instead of children who learned the correct answers.


Mistakes weren't properly corrected for fear of passing some personal judgment on the child; no one could fail courses for fear of psychological scars. Spelling and grammar didn't matter, only the idea did -- and the idea could never ever be wrong because that would squelch the child's creativity.

The problem is, rather than raising a generation of confident kids it raised a generation that can't take criticism and needs constant reinforcement.

In the 1980s, education pushed that theory one step further to lavishly praise kids for excelling -- or not. There was so much concern about damaging self-esteem that sporting events for children suddenly stopped keeping score, and certificates of achievement were pushed aside in favour of certificates of participation. It all sounds harmless, but when kids receive so much affirmation and positive enforcement, there's no need for them to go the extra mile or succeed. Simply showing up is enough to gain the recognition and the prize -- just as we now see in university students.


Note carefully that we are the ones who decided (or allowed) education to be about a child feeling good instead of about creating competent and knowledgeable children. Now that these children are adults, we shouldn't be surprised that they are still demanding that educators make them feel good and reward their efforts instead of right answers.

At 400 students, the study isn't particularly large but most teachers and professors will tell you the phenomenon of academic entitlement is widespread -- even in the workplace. One survey found that 85 per cent of human resources professionals felt young recruits had a strong (or even "outlandish") sense of entitlement, while large numbers of the new recruits expected higher pay, a flexible work schedule, a promotion within a year and 50 per cent more vacation time.

In our modern, progressive world we naturally tend to assume that the most recent or innovative theories are the most valuable, so we allowed the self-esteem theory to usurp our education system. We can clearly see the error in this as our universities and workplaces are filling with bright young people who are rich in opportunity, yet have an all-consuming apathy of mind and spirit.

Susan Martinuk is freelance writer. Her column appears every Friday.

© The Calgary Herald 2008
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 12:23 pm
@Mame,
My children were raised during the period described in the article, but they didn't turn out with the "me" focus. I must have goofed.

BBB
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 12:57 pm
@Mame,
I’ve seen many of these examples. Some I’d like to point out that hit me personally….

“A full 30 per cent think professors should let them take exams at other times so to accommodate personal plans (such as vacations)..” This really caught me because I remember once stating that I would not (except in very unusual circumstances) allow my children to have time off from school for a vacation " And I remember many A2K individuals responding that it was fine. Some comments were you can leave more about things while traveling " more educational opportunities. Things along those lines. Although I agree you can learn a lot on certain types of vacation, usually you can schedule a vacation when school is out. My comment was you then make school seem less important when as a child it should be a priority.

Another item " “…certificates of achievement were pushed aside in favour of certificates of participation..” I don’t have a problem with this with very young children " however, it should not replace achievement. In other words, if all kids finished kindergarten, they should all receive a certificate, but those excelling may receive an excellence type of award. One thing my daughter’s school does (not sure how much I like this), is they in addition give out character type of awards. I don’t mind the character awards " but often times, they end up giving it to the child who does not deserve it the most. It appears they sometimes give a certain award to a child who hasn’t gotten one " so they all get some sort of award. So perhaps little Jenny really isn’t the most generous child, but Timmy is. Since Jenny hasn’t gotten an award she gets most generous because she once let Timmy use her pencil.


“…phenomenon of academic entitlement is widespread -- even in the workplace…” I have to deal with this quite frequently … I think the current economic environment though is going to give these ones quite a shock.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 01:07 pm
@Mame,

I agree with this article, a lot.

A worrying trend is that most kids seem to have little or no respect for authority, represented at school by the teachers, because they have come to believe that everything should be arranged for their individual benefit.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 01:17 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

My children were raised during the period described in the article, but they didn't turn out with the "me" focus. I must have goofed.

BBB


Yeah, I was too. I disagree with the time-frames they've given. Our teachers certainly didn't treat us that way. In the 80's is when I noticed it more. One of my colleagues had a son whose homework was never corrected because they feared it would destroy his self-esteem. Sheesh. Now the kid is 28 and can't spell to save his life.

I think there's a lot more attention and focus on kids than is good for them. I believe they're part of the family, not what the family revolves around.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 01:54 pm
@Mame,
I think in general in can see this is in a certain generation - I don't think the years are precise - it could depend on where you live - (ie east coast was more like this from x- y, south a- b) and each school, child, teacher, parent is different so even during these times you may end up with some that are not typical.

I agree with the respect thing - I am happy that it is not tolerated (disrepect that is) in my children's school - and it ain't tolerated with me either.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 01:54 pm
@McTag,
Obviously. Once effective punitive sanctions are gone nothing else can be expected unless a college is prepared to hand out high failure rates and any that do find themselves losing students to those that don't and reputations tank and, with schools, property prices slump.

You can't expect professionals to to fall in with your old-fashioned whims against their own "Me-me-me" interests.

Jobs are now so specialised that most of what students learn is useless to them. The sort of dentist they depicted in Laurel and Hardy only needed to be big and strong. It was the "Me-me-me" teeth that put that sort out of work. The brain surgeon was the same. And accountants prosper on how many tax officials they play golf with.

You are naive you lot. It's 2008 folks. We are so rich we don't know what silliness to get up to next. Take the financial crisis for example.

That's been caused by "Me-me-me".

Do you want to go back to rickets as well. How about horses and carts and six weeks to get a message to Auntie Elsie to tell her to remember to set off before mid-November if she wants to come for Christmas dinner.

There's some stuff in the news today about organisations representing children complaining about silly old duffers demonising the young. They should have said silly old whinging, cringing old duffers who have never had it so good and just need something to carp about which is supplied to them by the tripe Grub Street put out in which each little incident is blown out of all proportion to feed the need to slurp such distorted nonsense up over breakfast.

If what you see on TV was anything like real life you would barricade yourself inside your house all tooled up. In real life nearly all the kids are okay. They better be. They'll be changing our drip feeds and fitting our stair lifts before many moons.

Always look on the brightside they say. A proper education by your standards would probably turn them into dysfunctional recluses.

If you can talk about neurosugeons I can talk about the fastest kids picking up on the adults infighting over controversial (*ahem!) issues like evolution and who get a high powered course in inter-personal relations which stands them in good stead as presidential hopefuls or script-writers. Say.

You haven't thought of that have you. And brain surgery is mostly so specialised that it's not much different than winding the clock up and darning your sock. Practice makes perfect.

How to do bacon the old way.

Construct unit in which piglet is to be housed. Make sure the walls are sturdy in case you are late with the grub onetime.

BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 02:10 pm
@Mame,
I always thought the best route for getting a well-rounded education was to first take four years of Liberal Arts followed by two years of specific graduate studies. The Liberal Arts student should learn how to think, not what to think, and will be in a better position to make future studies choices.

BBB
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 02:12 pm
@spendius,
BTW- I curtailed the last paragraph as you probably noticed. I didn't want to use up bandwidth to tell you something I know most of you already know. And telling you how that bacon you buy in the shops is produced would take far too long.

When Paulette Goddard said that the most attractive smell in the world is that of bacon frying she meant one of two things. But she was referring to "Me-me-me" bacon. Not the bacon you would get off the pig I imagined you were using.

0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 02:25 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BBB- Why don't you show some signs of a Liberal Arts education instead of talking about it in that mushy way. Give us the benefit of your presumed Liberal Arts education instead of just saying that's what we should have as a code for you having had what you think is one yourself without any reference to what it is and thus you are, by simple logic, smarter than the average bear--boo-boo.

Liberal Art uses symbols. They don't earbash. They can, say, concoct, out of nowhere and off the cuff, a little piglet and use it to symbolise the brain clutch being out with a few deft strokes which, if there was time, could be easily improved upon.
0 Replies
 
Nick Ashley
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 02:59 pm
Hmm, they are comparing 18-25 years olds' education to the 60's and 70's. How many people were in school in the 60's at ages 18-25 as compared to now? I think the fact that it is higher education that many students are paying for themselves, that makes all the difference. I am 25, so just on the edge of their range. I graduated college in '05, when I was 22.

I would fall into the group that felt the teacher shouldn't care if I was late, or didn't show up at all. I paid for the class, what does it matter if I show up or not? By age 18 I was more then capable of learning on my own, I didn't need a professor to read directly out of the book with no further explanation (which many of them did).

There were many classes that I frequently skipped, and they were in classes I found easy and got straight As in. The classes I did worst in, I tried to go to class every day, and learn as best I could. There was one class that was incredibly easy for me. "Introduction to web programming in VB.NET". I honestly could have passed it in Junior High. The professor would give "Pop quizes" that accounted for alot of our grade, and he refused to let me know in advance when they were. This was a way of forcing attendance, when the University didn't allow grading based on attendance. I sat in the back of the classroom, and would visibly read a magazine, play poker on my laptop, or listen to music.

I guess he was preparing me for the corporate world, where you are forced to go to meetings where you gain zero benefit. Funny, how I left the corporate world...

BTW: I don't fall into all the other categories they talk about, like thinking I should get a B just for attending, etc. I don't feel that the world revolves around me, or that it should bend to meet my needs.
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:02 pm
@Nick Ashley,
Nick Ashley wrote:

The professor would give "Pop quizes" that accounted for alot of our grade, and he refused to let me know in advance when they were.

BTW: I don't feel that the world revolves around me, or that it should bend to meet my needs.


Think again young man.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:23 pm
@Nick Ashley,
I don't know much about you Nick A., but if someone just handed me that post to read, I'd say that this person felt the world needed to step aside for him so he could proceed with the important business of his life.

Visibly read a magazine or played on your computer while a professor was trying to do his job?

How incredibly rude.

Show up for class or not, since you paid for it?
Again, very rude behavior.

Simply paying for a class does not entitle a person to show up or not, as he or she feels.

When you pay for a class, you are in fact entitled, given the privilege of being allowed to show up. Are you that sure you wouldn't have learned something on the days you didn't show up?

If I were teaching a class, no way would I let someone get away with playing video games or reading a magazine. If you felt that by the age of 18 you were more than capable of learning on your own, I would have invited you to do so out of my sight, and out sight of the poor souls who weren't as capable, and would gladly refund your money.

A teacher refusing to tell a student when they were going to give a pop quiz....imagine that.

Do you go to a play and pull out a magazine while the actors are doing they're job?

They can see you, you know. The actors, teachers, people performing a service which would be better if you provided your attention.

These are actual human beings with feelings, not some computer generated image that you can put on hold when you get bored.

Some professor is supposed to stand up there, doing his job, and has to look at someone totally disrepecting him by sitting a reading a magazine?

Shame on you.

Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:27 pm
@eoe,
I agree - comments like....."I would fall into the group that felt the teacher shouldn't care if I was late, or didn't show up at all. I paid for the class, what does it matter if I show up or not? By age 18 I was more then capable of learning on my own, I didn't need a professor to read directly out of the book with no further explanation (which many of them did). "

Although on the surface sounds reasonable, but does reek of the I am entitled. Coming in late is disruptive to those students that are there on time; I paid for the class what does it matter - again has that ring of entitlement there. By 18 more capable of learning on my own - I agree I had some classes/teachers like that, but many you can learn from their personal experience - again a bit of entitlement/I am overconfident and too smart to learn from a human being ring to it.

I sat in the back of the classroom, and would visibly read a magazine, play poker on my laptop, or listen to music. - again disruptive to others that want to learn from the professional.

or that it should bend to meet my needs. - the above reeks of bending to your needs - not once in any of these comments did you consider anyone, but your own needs.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:28 pm
@chai2,
Oh my - while I was writing mine - I think you said almost exactly the same thing!
0 Replies
 
Nick Ashley
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:29 pm
@eoe,
A couple things to note:

1. I simply asked if I could know in advance, and when he said know I willingly played by the rules and attended class every day.

2. He was actually bending the rules, not I. The University had a policy against grading based on attendance. Professors found a loophole because nothing stated quizzes had to be listed in the syllabus. This was a practice that was frowned upon by the University, and rumor was they were working on closing that loophole. I cannot confirm this, however.

I don't feel the world revolves around me. I will challenge things that I don't agree with, however. I think some people incorrectly feel that anyone who breaks a rule thinks the world revolves around them. Note that I am not saying you are one of those people. I'm simply not ruling it out yet either.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:34 pm
@Nick Ashley,
Disrupting your fellow classmates is not bending the rules. But does sound a bit like entitlement/the world revolved around me. You are putting your wants/desires needs above others.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:34 pm
@Nick Ashley,
Nick Ashley wrote:

Hmm, they are comparing 18-25 years olds' education to the 60's and 70's. How many people were in school in the 60's at ages 18-25 as compared to now? I think the fact that it is higher education that many students are paying for themselves, that makes all the difference. I am 25, so just on the edge of their range. I graduated college in '05, when I was 22.


The article is really about the sense of entitlement, not education. This attitude carries over into work, so the same applies for those who didn't attend college or university.

My daughter's ex takes a day off if it snows (lightly) or has a headache. People (who I know) in my generation wouldn't even think of doing that. The staff where I worked for 6 years in a university accumulated sick time and you could often tell by looking at the time accumulated who was of what age bracket.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:34 pm
@Nick Ashley,
My university didn't require attendance in the early sixties and test days were announced ahead of time. Good little girl, I always attended, for good or ill, but I had friends who did well without attending and getting among the highest grades, say, in a big chem class.

I'm one of the people that talked about relishing the times my parents took me out of elementary school for some reason. Once we flew from Chicago to LA for my grandmother's funeral, and stayed a couple of weeks for family reasons, and once we spent a few months in LA living at my aunt's and with me attending a local school for most of that, but also taking off to be in some commercials - a situation where there was a lady from the City who "taught" me for something like 45 minutes a day... a definite joke. I think my parents also took me to New York a few times for a few days during school months. No harm, I was a good student back then, and travel with my parents was priceless to me, and remains so in looking back.

I remember my girl pals across the street also took off from school a few times, and they became mathematicians, etc., when they grew up. Perhaps it was more common to "take off" in the fifties.


I think some children have been cosseted from life's storminess, in a variety of upbringings, but that it is hard to judge that from the outside. And certainly some protection is good, wise. But even though I'm an older person, thus being educated pre-80's and even before the late 60's move to Pass-Fail, I've had a number of friends/acquaintances who have, in adulthood, been amazed, shocked, at how rough life can be. As if raised on situation comedies..
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 03:40 pm
@Nick Ashley,
Well, I was at school in the 60's and at university in the 70's.

Teachers didn't care if we came late or even missed school, we even weren't warned: a letter to the parents worked wonder (school is and was free in Germany).

At university, no-one really bothered, if we went to classes: we had to know the stuff at the exams. (There were some classes, where you had to attend. So you went there three times to sign the list .... or asked someone to sign it for you.)


When I taught at university in the 80's/90's - I really was surprised that my students couldn't handle these freedoms: they weren't used to study on their own.

It might well be that this was reasoned in how they had 'learnt' at school, how their school life was centered on the well-doing of their psyche ...
 

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