Thursday, September 16, 2004

Sad Truths?

Despite its typical let's-blame-the-liberals-for-mucking-with-the-educational-system tone, this piece from The New York Post accurately describes much of what I see in my first-year writing students.


At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were a bunch of posts recently about school systems in which it's forbidden for teachers to mark up student work with red pens...apparently, the color *red* is viewed as just too harmful to self-esteem.

It seems clear to me that this kind of thing helps to create the sense of entitlement referred to in the article.

And I strongly suspect that those who have problems with mark-up in red are indeed people who consider themselves "liberals," at least as that term is used in American politics today.

At 12:31 AM, Blogger jocalo said...

So who decided red was the color of comments? This comment I am writing seems to be in black, the way one adult communicates to another.

I write all my comments on student papers with a Pentel Rolling Writer, black ink. The point is the message, not the color. And the colors have no correlation with political views.

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, when marking up documents I like to use a green felt-tip pen. The issue, to me, isn't that one color is superior to the other--it's the attitude that student egos are so fragile that appropriate color-useage must be edicted by the administration, lest self-esteem be damaged. In an environment like that, students will not get used to having their work critiqued, and are likely to develop a sense of entitlement leading to some of the problems mentioned in the article.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger jocalo said...

For my very first formal paper of the term, I give students a due date, then when they come with their pristine, word-processed "final" papers, I put them in groups of three and have them workshop the papers. So their first experience of having their work written on comes from their peers, in whatever form and color their fellow students have on hand.

Then they get my broad, black, hard-to-decipher comments on their revised final paper, and I'm sure they read it as the hand of authority. : )

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