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After reading some popular comments on this site it seems that many users consider students (students as a group, not individuals) to be irrational ***holes:

As a former student I feel this is user hostile behaviour, by a more powerful group towards a less powerful group, more suitable at a gripe session in the pub than in a friendly public forum. As a thought experiment, try applying these comments to basically any minority or disadvantaged group and see how quickly that gets flagged and removed.

I'm not sure where this is going. Are these comments not considered rude? Is there a huge amount of popular lecturer-bashing which has passed me by? Obviously some part of the community will consider this too thin-skinned, but it seems this kind of behaviour

  1. doesn't add anything positive or useful to the discussion and
  2. could discourage some users from participating.
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    You examples are both rather difficult to assess. The first one requires the reader to follow a special line of thinking and was classified as a joke by its author afterwards. The second depends how exactly you read modus operandi, which is arguably misused anyway in this context (irrespective of the tone). – Wrzlprmft Sep 29 '17 at 16:25
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    The two examples make broad statements about groups, and if that wasn't enough, they are also quite likely to be understood as hyperbolic. I think you're making a mountain of a molehill. – darij grinberg Oct 1 '17 at 22:50
  • 1. Those of us who now teach students were once ourselves students, and moreover may -- dare I suggest it -- have had friends who were not "students like ourselves". – Yemon Choi Oct 2 '17 at 0:44
  • 2. Regarding student behaviour towards lecturers, and comments on this site on such: I'm not a fan of the sweeping statements in the comments you mention, but I would ask users/readers of this site who are not themselves practising teacher-academics to consider that the actual lived experiences we have may actually inform things we say or views we have. – Yemon Choi Oct 2 '17 at 0:47
  • Actually, let me strengthen one of my earlier statements: I think the 2nd comment is unhelpfully derogatory (the word "typical" is the one I take issue with) and were one able to downvote comments I would have downvoted this one. That said, I am loath to read too much into this site from this comment – Yemon Choi Oct 2 '17 at 0:52
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I am having trouble answering this. At the heart of the issue is As a thought experiment, try applying these comments to basically any minority or disadvantaged group and see how quickly that gets flagged and removed students are not a minority or a disadvantaged group, they are the entire population of individuals being taught. The comments are not suggesting any sort of preferential treatment be given to one group of students at another groups expense.

For example, saying students (or any other group) make bad customers because they are illogical is inappropriate since it implies preferential treatment should be given to non-students. Saying jobs in sales are hard because customers are illogical, however, is fine. What the comments are essentially saying is that teaching is hard because students are illogical.

I disagree with your point that the comments don't add anything positive or useful to the discussion but I agree with your point that they could discourage some users from participating. It is important for new teachers to realize that some students are illogical/emotional and that others will complain and criticize. Therefore, I believe the comments add value. That said, the comments could have addressed the fact that not all students are illogical or prone to complaint and criticism, that students are not necessarily more emotional than any other group, and that each student should be treated as an individual. That is a lot to pack into a comment on the off chance that a student would be offended that students are stereotyped (fairly or unfairly) as emotional.

  • "students are not a minority or a disadvantaged group" Compared to the people making the jokes they are, which was my point. – l0b0 Oct 11 '17 at 7:27
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    @l0b0 there is a difference between groups of different power and being a minority or disadvantaged group. – StrongBad Oct 11 '17 at 15:25
  • @l0b0, are you saying students are a minority group? If so, then who is the majority group? The teachers? The administrators? – Joel Reyes Noche Oct 15 '17 at 12:43
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A few thoughts on this:

Are these comments not considered rude?

The second example you use is a bit rude, but the first is clearly a joke, and a pretty minor one at that.

Is there a huge amount of popular lecturer-bashing which has passed me by?

If you mean on the site, there isn't much. But in life?

Consider the very existence of ratemyprofessor.com. Additionally, there's a lot of concerns about the quality and impact of student evaluations and complaints - there's some evidence of some pretty serious gender bias, these things are potentially used in hiring decisions, and there's a whole genre of essay recently that's essentially boils down to "Student complaints are out of control". I have my own issues with the conclusions of those essays, but they're definitely a thing.

As a thought experiment, try applying these comments to basically any minority or disadvantaged group and see how quickly that gets flagged and removed.

Students are neither a minority nor inherently disadvantaged, which makes this at best irrelevant.

doesn't add anything positive or useful to the discussion

This is where I think you're wrong. Some notes that student complaints are often fickle, make sweepingly ignorant assumptions about what a professor's job actually is, are often biased or needlessly cruel, and often outright insane are useful things for faculty to encounter. "Oh good, it's not just me" is a very powerful thing.

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