Posted by: crudbasher | August 10, 2010

Tailoring Classroom Lecture to the Students

Are our students changing?  In 11 years in the college classroom I did notice certain changes in them, mostly related to communications technologies.  At the end they were used to being able to always communicate with anyone.  They also had no concept of long distance charges, learning from books and not using a computer to do things.

But were they more Narcissistic?  Well honestly I can’t say they were.  Sure there were some arrogant and narcissistic students in each class.  There also were some really good students too.  What changed I think was there were more forms of distraction and a different expectation from the teacher.

Because of these expectations I have come up with some guidelines for choosing material to teach the students.

  1. Have I explained to the students what we are about to learn?
  2. Have I explained to the students WHY we are about to learn it?
  3. Is me presenting it in person the best pedagogy to teach this?
  4. Is there any material that would be useful for students to have looked at before class?
  5. Could the students look this information up on Google? If yes, go back to 3.
  6. Do I have adequate assessment to determine learning?
  7. Do I have time set aside for remediation?
  8. MOST IMPORTANT: Would the class I am doing today be any different if there were no students present?

I wonder if this list could be a flowchart?  Can anyone else think of other things to add?

  • Good, rational thinking on Narcissism in students

    tags: education narcissism nell

    • The last few decades have seen increasing efforts by teachers, policy makers, therapists, and others to shield children from anything remotely negative, whether that be competition with each other or criticism from adults.
    • It should come as little surprise that many folks (myself included) find all of this to be quite ridiculous and worry that the self-esteem movement may ultimately do more harm than good. Life, after all, is filled with hard knocks and disappointments,
    • There has been much recent discussion in the psychological literature and the popular press about the idea that self-esteem among young people has become so problematic that an “epidemic” (not my word) of narcissism has gripped the younger generation.
    • Psychologists are not sure that the data really indicate that narcissism is on the rise, and it’s not clear that it’s such a bad thing if it is.
    • However, it is clearly too soon to be talking about epidemics and slandering millions of young people with a derogatory label. There is simply not the quality of evidence available to support such hyperbole.
    • no one really knows if high scores on the common measures of narcissistic personality are such a bad thing. Where does healthy self-esteem end and pathological narcissism, something that leads to selfishness, manipulativeness, and violence, begin?
    • I’m the first to acknowledge a certain absurdity at the core of the self-esteem movement and the implication that competition is harmful and children so delicate that any failure will be horribly crushing rather than an opportunity for learning and growth.
    • However, the notion that children are so malleable that the self-esteem movement, or anything else, could twist them into an antisocial horde is equally absurd.
    • The evidence just isn’t there for an epidemic of narcissism or anything else.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. Great post crudbasher,
    I loved you flowchart… I’ll add a few thoughts of my own…

    1 – 2 are essentially selling the value of the learning to the learner. Learner buy-in increases motivation and the likelihood of any real learning (learning that can be transferred to a real-world task) will occur.

    3 – 5 are basic heresy (IMHO) in most educational environments. Investigations, authentic activities, projects, … are simply not teaching. Presenting a lecture is. (But then, as you note, a storm front is coming.)

    6 – 7 I think you mean an assessment that will determine the real capability of the student to do the task (and areas where remediation could help) – not a high stakes multiple choice test that only says how the student ranks against the rest of the country.

    8 – Good question to think about.

    Have a great day, Kent

    • Hey Kent, yep I agree with the rephrasing you did of my list. I did lol about heresy! 🙂 3-5 really is about a student-centric learning model as opposed to teacher-centric. There are a lot of forces that will freak out if teachers aren’t that important anymore. Thanks much for your comment, it added a lot to the original post!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, said: #edu #education Tailoring Classroom Lecture to the Students – Are our students changing?  In 11 years in the college… […]

  3. I think that as a society we tend to swing from one extreme to another. Where my parents generation was raised to deal with the hard knocks as they came, the generation I am teaching now have been largely shielded from anything that might hurt them, hurt their feelings etc. I’m not sure that it has made them more narcissistic, I have seen it make them less able to handle life when it gets difficult or things don’t go their way. I think this also depends heavily on the demographic of students we are talking about. I teach in a demographic where students get everything their heart desires the second they desire it. I don’t think that is good for kids.

    • Yeah you make good points. This new generation gets annoyed if they can’t find what they want on the first page of the Google search results!

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