Club-Admiralty

v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

My Lazy American Students

An interesting article popped up on Inside Higher Ed today about the work ethic of American students (Original Boston.com article here). I would say that this is a gross overgeneralization based on anecdotal evidence. Now anecdotal evidence does serve a purpose, but I think that you are not comparing apples to apples.

The United States for instance does not have a unified educational system (and with policies like No Child Left Behind we're shooting ourselves on the foot - but that's another story). This means that someone who graduated from a High School in rural location-x and someone who graduated High School from a wealthy suburb-y won't necessarily have the same education. In contrast, countries like Greece have a national curriculum followed throughout all school in Greece.

Does this mean that Greeks are less lazy than Americans? Of course not! I know many Greek college students, in Greece who spend their days at Cafes, not attending lectures, just doing what they need to do to get by. Then again, there are the superstars. Students like this exist regardless of cultural background. The people who come to the US to study have other motivators than students who stay local to attend their local college. Students who pay for their own expenses have other motivators than students who have their parents pay for things.

I get that this is an op-ed piece, but I think that too little credit is given to the hard working american students, and too much credit is given to a group of foreign students based on the observations of some superstar students.

Part of me thinks that there is also an expectations gap. If someone texts through your class, you may be boring. If that same person who does not pay attention in class still gets an A, what does that mean? If people get C, D, and F, what does that mean? I think that a whole level of meta-analysis has not been completed here. M'eh...Monday afternoon ramblings from a current grad student...
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