Treating college students like school children

Stephen Baker

For students to find out who they are, parents have to let go. I now hear from my son, a phd student, that he has to mark attendance for students who come to his classes. That's right, attendance. College students are being monitored. It's not enough that they have their parents on the other end of the cell phone. Now they get docked, at least in some places, if they miss a class. I'm betting that parents, terrified that they might not be getting their money's worth, are behind this.

Is that screwed up, or what? Mandatory attendance reinforces the notion that students can advance simply by showing up. Today's students will increasingly be measured and rewarded by how they perform and what they create, not whether they keep a seat warm at some meeting they'd rather skip.

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