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Lazy teachers bore students

Although this is not a surprise, it is certainly worth noting: Lazy Teachers bore their students, a recent huge study, reveals. Read the outlines of what was found in the story above (only 2% os students say they are never bored in high school, two out of three students say they are bored in class every single day, etc.) and then go to the Indiana University survey itself. And this is the IU press release on the study.

Discussions - 10 Comments

I’m not sure I see how anything in this survey would lead one to conclude that "teacher laziness" is the root of the problem. Students want more talking to one another (i.e., the blind leading the blind), and they want less homework. Seems to me that any "reform" along these lines constitute true "laziness." I always hated "group work" in college...the bright one carries the whole group...BWOT.

I agree w dain...and most students do too.

As a teacher of ten years, I think that teacher laziness can play a huge role. I don’t know how many history teachers take the time to read a lot. Only then can you relate the stories about Washington crossing the Delaware, Teddy Roosevelt overcoming childhood illnesses to improve his health and manliness, Washington saving the new nation at Newburgh with his grand speech, or any number of a million stories. Teaching out of the textbook, using tests from the testbank, and spending time grading meaningless worksheets, or doing some group project skit/scenario (or whatever the teachers call it) where the uninformed students "teach" each other is sure to bore and show how worthless you are as a teacher. Tell stories, fill rooms in your house with books and read them by the scores, and share a passion for what occurred in the past. It takes a lot of time, but the students can’t get enough. Most say things like, "I never thought history could be like this." It almost becomes a commonplace compliment that a good teacher takes for granted.

I agree with Tony--who describes a very "instructor-centric" and not merely "facilator" classroom.

facilitator, i guess--not a word i really use in my own writing.

Peter L. - yes, I was indoctrinated by the stupid School of Ed during the first year or two of my teaching and did all the things in which students taught, did group work, set up "rubrics" blah, blah, blah. Then, I said to myself that I’m the expert, I read 100 books a year, I have an MA in history, and began to wow my students. I also made them enter into the "great conversation" about difficult books and primary sources but mostly try to tell stories and do biographical history of individuals tying it to important themes. I threw the text in the garbage and we got down to some serious learning. I became a teacher, responsible for my students’ learning. It wasn’t all lecture, but a lot of it was, and it had little to do with what you would find in a textbook - I drew upon my expertise and reading to weave a tale of the past. The students I keep in contact with can remember many of those lessons word for word and mention individual lectures. Why? It was memorable, even if Ed schools love to tell you that students only retain 5% of what they hear. Oh yeah? What group project do you remember except that it was probably a waste of time. Now, we had many Socratic dialogues as well, but I was still always a teacher who drew the students’ ideas out, never a facilitator.

Tony - Congratulations! Keep spreading the news.

preach it, Tony! I have diverted many students from education programs simply by asking them, "Would you like to begin to master a discipline, such as history or mathematics? Be a history or math major. Would you like to attend a dozen or more stultifying classes in order to learn techniques which promise to help you magically impart the material you love to your students, even though you have scarcely had time for real study? Take an education major. I have never met an education undergrad that did not find intellectually insulting 2/3 or more of his or her coursework. The unintended consequence? Private schools get motivated teachers who love math, history, etc, because they do not have to put up the eduocracy’s BS.

George Sarton, who invented the sub-discipline of the History of Science, wrote, "Science without wisdom is a poor thing, and technique without wisdom is poorer still."

I always hated "group work" in college...the bright one carries the whole group

Every really bright student I’ve ever encountered says the same thing. Nevertheless, most of the teachers I’ve encountered keep recommending it. Hmm, there’s a conclusion that could be reached here, but I’m not sure I should point it out....

Come on, John...don’t keep us in suspense...point it out!

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