Instructor Attitudes and Biases … have we grown?

While going over my past bloggings, I came across a 2008 post in which I commented on my bewilderment (almost rage) triggered by another blog, Thoughts on Learning Spaces (2008).  I had provided a link to the post from that blog that had set me off.  The blogger referred to the student population of 2008 as Gen Y and implied that they were lazy learners.   Fortunately, the links I had posted to those demeaning comments were broken and the blog no longer existed.   I had every intention of deleting my old post, but as I reread the quoted comment from the other blog, I slowly started to burn, again. Here is the comment.


You know why a student would prefer to look at a picture or watch a video? Because it’s way easier than reading something that would nearly always be more informative about the subject at hand. You know why a student would be more interested in producing, say, a video than writing a paper? Because writing well is DIFFICULT and it’s far easier to gloss up poor research by packaging it in a video format that appears to involve a lot of work. Yes, older people who think that games, social networks, collaborative learning environments, and the creation audiovisual mashups are the future of education, the basic message I’m sending here is that young students don’t want to learn, they want to play, and presentations like the one I saw today essentially seem to be saying that we need to support this play (masked as educational needs) as much as possible in order to try to get some learning in there.  I’d like to hear some thoughts and comments from our group on this issue. It’s an important topic. Please comment on the discussion forum, “Are we experiencing a Generational Gap in Education?I so curious to know if the blogger has had a change of opinion towards multimedia, games, and the value of play in learning.  As I reread this post, the statement, “You know why a student would be more interested in producing, say, a video than writing a paper? Because writing well is DIFFICULT and it’s far easier to gloss up poor research by packaging it in a video format that appears to involve a lot of work.  (2008)


First, it’s obvious the blogger has never produced a podcast or digital story.  I’d like to think this person has had a change in attitude about multimedia and learning, but I seriously doubt it.  (I’ll share my personal teaching story about a student triumphant and a video podcast later.)   However, have we improved as educators since the time this blog was active and accessible?  It’s 2015 and have we learned anything about our students as individual learners?  Does this attitude still exits in the hallowed halls of Academe?  I believe many of us have embraced the values of multimodal media learning experiences for our students; but, there are still actively vocal, condescending holdouts muddying the waters of productive student-centered learning environments.  Yes, some fear change;  but, instead of attempting to understand, many react with negative and demeaning voices towards educators and their students shifting the instructor-centered classroom experience to a more experiential, student-centered learning environment.  The blogger, and many others, point fingers and close their minds to the skills and abilities this learning generation will need to enter the workforce and become productive citizens in 21 century society.  Again, this was written in 2008, but pockets of this disrespectful attitude and self-imposed lack of understanding can still be found in the educational venues of today.

I also posted and commented on another blog from 2008,  A Vision of Students Today (What Teachers Must Do)At the time, the blog owner seemed just as frustrated. 
http://www.clappingtrees.com/archives/2009/01/a-vision-of-students-today-what-teachers-must-do  The blogger posts,

HOW DID INSTITUTIONS DESIGNED FOR LEARNING become so widely hated by people who love learning? It’s been almost two years (spring 2007) since Dr Michael Wesch of Kansas State University invited the 200 students in his “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” class to tell the world what they think of their education by helping him script a video for YouTube

Have we grown as educators since 2008-09?  What is the Vision of Students Today in the 2015 classroom?  What are the societal demands on these students and what must we do to help them become productive citizens, today…2015?

2 thoughts on “Instructor Attitudes and Biases … have we grown?

  1. […] This New York Times article brought to mind my last post that quoted a condescending educator, perturb by learning from play,“young students don’t want to learn, they want to play, and presentations like the one I saw today essentially seem to be  saying that we need to support this play (masked as educational needs) as much as possible in order to try to get some learning in there.”  (see Instructor Attitudes and Biases) […]

  2. […] This New York Times article brought to mind a post from my Professional Development blog in which I quoted a condescending educator, perturb by learning from play,“young students don’t want to learn, they want to play, and presentations like the one I saw today essentially seem to be  saying that we need to support this play (masked as educational needs) as much as possible in order to try to get some learning in there.”  (see Instructor Attitudes and Biases) […]

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