Friday, October 20, 2017
Dealing with Students Having a Sense of Entitlement
Here, we’re talking about students who claim they deserve better grades, because they feel entitled to them. Here is an academic definition of “entitlement”:
“a self-centered disposition characterized by a general disregard for traditional faculty relationship boundaries and authority” or it can be described more functionall: “a sense that they [students] deserve what they want because they want it and want it now.”
In the archives of Faculty Focus, we find a six suggestions for dealing with these students. The suggestions come from Lippmann, S., Bulanda, R. E., and Wagenaar, T. C. (2009). Student entitlement: Issues and strategies for confronting entitlement in the classroom and beyond. College Teaching, 57 (4), 197–203. Here are the highlights:
- Make expectations explicit.
- Give students something to lose by negotiating. What the authors recommend is that faculty agree to re-evaluate work but that reassessment may result in the grade being raised or the grade being lowered (or it may stay the same).
- Provide examples of “excellent” work.
- Ask students to make the case first in writing.
- Resocialize students and faculty. “Explain your philosophy of teaching and learning and your focus on student responsibility. … Socialize students into assuming responsibility for their own efforts and their own learning so that they are less likely to blame you for any shortcomings.”
- Institutional responses. The authors believe that institutional climate plays a role in determining how students behave and that certain climates diminish the amount of entitlement students may feel. They use rigorous first-year seminars as an example of how some institutions establish intellectual expectations for students.
For the full discussion, please click here.