Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Stupid, or not?

I've got a very sore throat now. Taught four hours today - two 2-hour lectures. One on Rawls' theory of justice, the other on the family. I didn't use a microphone. I should next time.

I'm been having bad thoughts about my students. Increasingly, I'm tempted to think that they are all rather stupid. I used to be so convinced that NO ONE is stupid. If you are good enough a teacher, you should be able to communicate your ideas to anyone. If you are clear enough in your thoughts, good enough in the words you choose, patient enough in your delivery, it should work. But I'm finding it increasingly difficult. Even a straight forward tutorial topic, like "According to Hayek, what is the nature and function of social justice?", I still get students completely misunderstanding what I want them to do. It's much easier to believe that they are stupid.

Most of them are terribly inarticulate as well. You ask them a question, and they spit a couple of random words back at you. Expecting you to string them together and make sense out of it. And then there's the usual blank stares when you ask them a question. Even a simple, factual question like "Have you come across this term before?" to which the answer can only be "yes" "no" and "maybe", they were unable to utter anything.

Why, oh why?

Why do I find it so hard to convince myself that they are stupid?

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