Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Young people today...

A sort of supplement to the previous post. I spent much of today doing introductory sessions to new undergraduates. I was in the middle of telling a group the details of the English Literature course they had signed up for. One student said - " So, do we like read these books ?" Collapse of stout party, etc.

6 comments:

kat said...

I was involved in a training session tonight and most of the ‘students’ didn’t want to be actively involved. All seemed to want to sit at the back. Even though this was a very important session and they are being paid some showed a reluctance to be there at all. I was running part of the session and for my bit, I asked them to work in pairs and look for some additional resources. One guy left his partner to it and logged into his email account. Students! Well no. This was a bunch of tutors. Luckily the others in my particular group were okay.

One of the trainers asked for a volunteer but not one person offered to assist.

Rob Spence said...

Hmmm... It is a bit disturbing. A don't care attitude is understandable in kids in school - but when it's adults, who have choices, you wonder what's going through their minds. One of my new students asked me if the course would be hard, and seemed a bit taken aback when I said "well, yes, it's a degree: it's supposed to be hard." We'll see..

kat said...

I don't think it is a don't care attitude. I think many are frightened of all the changes and simply want them to go away. There are 4 things to worry about at the moment. These things have been around for sometime but people have shut their eyes and avoided them for as long as possible. We are now reaching the compulsory stage. In fact these current sessions are compulsory.

1.Some are still teaching off the back of City and Guild qualifications which are no longer enough. These people do not relish the idea of spending 1 or maybe 2 years doing a level 4 teaching qualification.
2. All tutors should have up to date subject qualifications.
3. Technology. We are now expected to use this within teaching and learning but some cannot or do not want to use it. ( Mentoring works well here). The VLE comes under this category but I don't think tutors will be forced to use it. Not yet anyway.
4. Literacy and numeracy

Personally I think that it is reasonable to expect all of the above.

Rob Spence said...

I agree. And also I'd add that nobody is holding a gun to the heads of these people. If they don't like their profession, they should leave it. For all my Victor Meldrewish rants, I do actually enjoy my job most of the time - but I hope I would be able to say, "OK, I'm off" as soon as I felt as uncommitted as your lot clearly are.

kat said...

Hi Rob

I wouldn't like you to think that the majority of staff are like this because they are not. There are a lot of changes at the moment and some are bound to feel either anxious, stressed or despondent. This is happening in many colleges and more so than in ours. Some people, I am sure, will leave. Others without the full qualifications, and nothing to offer, will find that over time they will be offered fewer and fewer contracts.
I think constant change, re-skilling ( otherwise known as continuing professional development) and government hassle come with the territory. :-)

Rob Spence said...

Yep, you said it. According to the publicity, the course I teach, and all others at my institution, have a vocational element. I haven't seen any adverts for poets recently though...