“I just feel that this is what students need to learn.”
“When I was in college, we had to do that.”
After the second day of a term, a distraught colleague told me that her high-intermediate level writing-students were totally unprepared for her course. Her course was supposed to build on what they had learned the previous level, but she discovered that the students had little awareness of what a thesis statement was or what topic sentences were. Many had trouble writing cohesive sentences.
We asked their previous instructor if he had followed the curriculum and worked on these with the students. He replied that he had decided to have them write a research paper instead. His reason: “When I was in college, I had to write research papers, so I decide that it was important that they know how to do that.”
Another instructor who was supposed to teach discussion skills for students to use in small groups, instead spent half the term having the student do presentations. Her reason: “I just felt that it was good for them to do this since they will probably have to do presentations in the future.”