Friday, December 12, 2014

Reg W. Sends In This 2010 Psych Today Article About Hating Students.

The first step is to recognize negative feelings and acknowledge that they are inevitable. Some professors don't realize they hate students until they notice that they're actually retaliating in subtle—and sometimes obvious—ways. Having the feelings is natural; acting on them can lead to unethical behavior and bad outcomes. I told one professor: "If you're not sure you hate a student, ask your other students, because they'll know how you treat the student."

To behave well in the face of annoyance or dislike, I find it helpful to look through the lens of my ethical obligations. The principles of beneficence and justice remind us to do good and to treat students fairly. To me, that means that feelings of annoyance should not determine our willingness to teach, help, and evaluate students. When I go to a professional—say, a financial planner—I want her to give me good advice whether she likes me or not.

Putting beneficence into action—doing good—usually involves managing attitudes. Some professors hate all students at first, until they are convinced that they won't be any trouble or that they have enough intellectual skill that the professor won't have to work so hard. Not so good! I suggest this alternative: Start by assuming all your students are allies.


1 comment:

  1. (Q) Why do so many proffies take an instant aversion to students?

    (A) Saves time in the long run.

    Honestly, the rah-rah who wrote this article should try teaching my general-ed astronomy class of over 100 students who walk out 5 minutes before the end of class. He should also watch "Full Metal Jacket," which although fictional is a quite accurate depiction (except for the bit about the loose ammunition) of a learning environment far more effective than any he can imagine.