so many of my faculty meetings and other meetings of teachers lately have had a common theme. to top it off, i had three personal conversations in one day in November on that same theme.
the theme: kids these days, why are they so intellectually lazy?
and yes, the three personal conversations were with people of three different generations. all different generations than my own. and I'm not old either, so for me to to be saying this is a first for me.
But I've decided to take a proactive role. I started teaching research projects in a chemistry course, no longer relegating research papers to the history department. They are slowly getting better at it, but I've also noticed that they do weird things in their analysis, like assume their conclusion as a premise. so I started teaching logic as well. I had a few classes play pico fermi bagels, and explain their reasoning for each step along the way. Instead of focusing on winning in the fewest number of turns, I focused on the cleanest possible tests for the best possible conclusions.
My heterogeneous level classes ate it up, but my homogeneous standard (non-honors) classes resisted. In my earlier post, the difference a year makes, it was the older homogeneous classes that were better able to express opinions in a discussion. I'm not sure if it has to do with age, interest, or just the way they approach the class. Now I'm not sure what conclusions to draw.