Do students fake helplessness to shift responsibility?: IHE contributor

March 15, 2017

The increasing message of “helplessness” coming from today’s students is “part feigned and part real, but nevertheless it is a problem that is eroding academe,” writes Lori Isbell for Inside Higher Ed. The author suggests that students’ tendency to “send emails and text messages of all sorts with the most basic questions about the most obvious matters” is in fact “a deflective maneuver” designed to shift responsibility for an assignment back onto an instructor. “We might provide the most detailed of written and oral instructions,” Isbell adds, “but students will still find a reason, an occasion or excuse, to challenge those instructions as inadequate to their needs and (attempt to) shift the responsibility of the work from them to us.” Isbell concludes by asking fellow instructors not to give in to students’ deflective maneuvers, adding that she wishes more students would “take their education into their own hands.” Inside Higher Ed