April 30, 2005

Psychologizing as the exception now

I just finished reading a student paper that distorted most of the cited class readings, turning them into an explanation of where juvenile delinquents became psychologically abnormal. This is evidence that the student had not quite learned the message I've been pounding for the entire semester: this course isn't psychology. It's humanities and social-science perspectives on schooling. So I've failed in some way with this student, or the student failed to grasp the point, or the student's failure to come to class for the last third of the semester may have led the student to forget some of the key things about the course.

Fortunately, this type of failure-to-grasp-the-key-concepts is now an exception, and most students focus on the central issues in this course. So I see progress in my campaign against the tendency of students to look at everything in schooling through a developmental-psych perspective. I am very fond of my developmental-psych colleagues in the department, but they don't get to rule our students' minds without competition.

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Posted in Teaching on April 30, 2005 6:51 AM |