Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dear ITPF...

(paraphrased and translated)

I have a problem with my quiz. The second time I took it, I made the same mistakes as the first time -- after doing "internet research" I concluded that Kant thinks it's sometimes ok to tell a lie and that calling a plumber is using a person as a means only.

subtext -- I don't think you have the quiz answers correct -- that your years of graduate training, multiple courses on Kant and 10 years teaching the stuff is wrong and my "research on the internet" is right.


Bardiac said...

Damn, if only Kant had written stuff down, like in a book or something!

Or if only there were books explaining how different philosophers think and can be understood in the contexts of history and other philosophy.

Why doesn't someone make a book like that? Then she wouldn't have to look up thinks on Google Philosopher!

The History Enthusiast said...

Sadly I'm not surprised by students like this. I know that the feeling sucks, though, so just laugh it off and maybe drop some hints in class about how long you've been teaching :)

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Really, this sillyness isn't of much concern to me -- I get an initial flash of irritation and then I realize that the student is probably used to being in a different kind of educational context and/or s/he doesn't realize that college instructors actually are content experts.

The other thing is that we're at a community college -- and this year we have lots of "reverse transfer" students... who don't quite understand that this course actually IS the equivalent of the same course taught at their former (expensive, far away) school. Depending on where they came from, they might have had a 1st year grad student as a TA ---instead of an (almost) Ph.D. with 10 years teaching experience.