Wednesday 7 May 2008

Miss, I don't get it

Every bloody Wednesday afternoon, that's what I get from my year 13 A level group, the plaintive " Miss, I don't get it". I am truly stunned at the lack of depth these students have. I can only conclude, sadly, that either I was a 18 year old genius or exams are getting easier and teenagers are getting more stupid.

This module we are doing is on understanding human behaviour and we cover the big 6 theories of development. I have to teach Eysenck's Biological theory. I was telling them that he was a Jewish sympathiser who had to leave Germany due to the Nazis ( neatly linking in with Tajfel's social identity theory and Allport on prejudice and how it can lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide), I know, I know, you're riveted too. Then I get, quite seriously too....

" Miss, what's a Nazi ? "

There were 4 students in my group who had no idea what World War 2 was about, never heard of Auchwitz, Dachau or other concentration camps, no idea who Hitler was, just that they'd heard the name, no idea of Kristallnacht or the forced wearing of The Star of David, some didn't even know what it was. So before I could even start on old Hans and his theory, I had to do a diet lesson on WW2.

Now, Eysenck had a theory about personality, there's a test I had them do on line. I spent the whole lesson explaining words that included - dwell, brood, dominant, submissive, melancholy. That's the ones I can remember and then the killer question that flummoxed a 19 year old student

I respect authority

" Miss, I don't get it " to which I very sweetly replied " Of course, you don't sweetie, it's harder than colouring in isn't it ?"

If this student didn't have an offer of a university place, it wouldn't be so worrying.


DAB said...

God help this country!
Right time to get away from it all pack your bikini you're going on a journey to the unknown. Yes my sweetie you have been tagged:)TFX

Helena said...

WW2 was always something my kids were eager to learn about as their old grampa was a POW, and had quite a few personal stories to tell.

Poor you, Gwen. Must have the patience of a Saint. I'd try some dot-to-dot books, if things get really rough! lol

lisa q. said...

Haha...can I use that line? I love it when they tell me they don't get it, but they can't even elaborate on what they don't get. Seriously, the world is in deep crap here!

Neil said...

Kids eh... birch them I say!

Dusty Spider said...

That is very worrying! And these are the people who are going to run the country!!? Flick x
PS Thanks for the tag. I will get around to it, promise. x

ME said...

Holy crap. We need to quit lowering the bar on standards.

indigo16 said...

Our pension in their hands! I despair of my year 13, not just thick, but also not interested in learning either. I ache to teach students who want to learn.

auntiegwen said...

TF - God help us indeed, I teach in a school that has the highest A level pass rate in the county !!

Lena - brill to have you back, I've missed ye hen

Lisa - tell me it's better in America, in my fantasy everything's better in America

Edge - steady now, regular commenting ?, you'll be needing extra naps to compensate for all this activity

Flick - I'm sure they're a joy to their mother but no one would ever think that my year 13's would be fit for more than texting and myspacing

Craze - standards ? in this country ? nah

Alison - every now and then I get a wee gem and that keeps me going, I also do 1 day per week teaching adults and that really does feel like teaching, I thoroughly recommend it

Shirley said...

It is NOT better in America! We have a beloved deceased author -- Laura Ingalls Wilder -- who wrote the "Little House" series about pioneer life in the mid-1800's. In them she talks about school and tests, etc. Someone dug up the exam they had to take in order to graduate EIGHTH GRADE, and it's making the email rounds. Wicked! I don't know half of it! Granted, there's more history to learn now (150years' worth!) but we're still pretty pathetic. In the U.S. we call it "dumbing down" so the learning disabled won't feel so left out.