Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Generational Differences in the Classroom

Over at the Best Practices for Legal Education blog (Oct. 9, 2016), Shailini George offers a perspective on howGenX’ers, Millenials, and we oldsters interact in the classroom (excerpts):

Gen X’ers want independence and to be given time to grapple with issues on their own, they respect authority, and do not like to be overly supervised.

On the other hand Millennials crave constant communication and mostly positive feedback, do not believe that those in authority deserve respect due to rank alone, and they want supervision to the point that they collaborate with supervisors rather than producing something on their own in the first place. The conflicts are apparent.

Yes, these are generalizations, but I see these conflicts play out in the classroom and anecdotally when those students first experience workplace expectations and report back to me.

Each generation has positive and less positive attributes. It has helped me to understand and appreciate that certain characteristics I may have viewed as laziness or lack of initiative are not individual characteristics, but simply a different mental approach to work and how it is produced. I have tried to adopt some of the positive attributes they bring to the classroom, such as embracing technology, engaging in more group work, and providing more opportunities for ungraded assessment. By doing so, I let go of a characteristic of my generation:  reluctance to change.

You can read more here.


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