[Milton-L] Re: Memorization and K. Jackson

Steve Fallon fallon.1 at nd.edu
Tue Feb 24 16:08:14 EST 2004


I didn't find Kathryn Jackson's observations authoritarian.  It's an 
odd term to apply to a student's appeal for her teachers to expect 
more from their students and from themselves.    I found Ms. 
Jackson's comments bracing.

It is easier on us to expect less of students, but the results are 
predictable.  Students in my experience rise (or sink) to 
expectations.  It is good for us to be reminded of this, whatever we 
think of the case at hand (for the record, I'm with those who see a 
real and deep pedagogical value in memorization).

Ms. Jackson hits the nail on the head when she argues that it is not 
good for students if we allow them to dictate what is expected of 
them.  If I did that, I might stop assigning them to write sonnets 
that make sense, rhyme, and scan.  Invariably, students who react 
with fear and horror on first learning of the assignment are glad to 
have been put through the exercise and recommend that I have future 
students write sonnets as well.  Often, they suggest that I have 
future students write more poetry in traditional forms.

Steve Fallon


>I find the authoritarian tone of these remarks -- "busywork or 
>else!" -- quite unfortunate and uncompelling.
>
>J.D. Fleming
>
>On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 21:24:35 -0800 (PST) milton-l at koko.richmond.edu wrote:
>>  --0-595580062-1077600275=:39278
>>  Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>>
>>
>  > A student's opinion:
>>



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