I have veered between being utterly bewildered at the current crop of crybully university students, with their intolerant politics and need for ‘safe spaces’, and angry that their main goal seems to be to complain rather than learn. So far the worst of this seems to have occurred in the US, but it’s gathering a similar momentum over here.
But today it hit me, these particular students don’t see education as an intellectual activity or a means of achieving their best academically. Why should they?
The vacuous anti-intellectual, anti-academic nature of progressive education, with its emphasis on navel-gazing and extended infanthood, can be seen in its full glory in these students.
Brought up by ‘we teach children not subjects’ primary teachers and secondary teachers sticking different coloured hats on their head, education is meaningless.Teachers dance like monkeys to entertain, fun matters more than attainment and ‘interests’, no matter how trivial, trump the best that has been thought and said.
Is it any wonder they believe that the world revolves around them?
Is it any wonder they believe the university should pay attention to their feelings rather than their intellectual development?
Is it any wonder that they believe their personal wants take precedence over the learning of others?
These are students who have been fed the idea since entering the education system that:
a) they don’t have to take any responsibility for their actions (it’s the teachers fault after all),
b) that those who behave appallingly deserve to be listened to and
c) they are entitled to exercise inordinate levels of power over the adults who teach them.
It’s not surprising they have internalised these beliefs and ideas. This is what education is about for them.
As one observer put it, these are ‘over-privileged special little snowflakes’, the epitome of self-centered, narcissistic attitudes honed over their lives so far. So no, higher education is not about developing one’s academic and intellectual abilities for these students. Why should it be?
Special Thanks to Ben Garrison for granting me permission to use his cartoon ‘Cry Bullies’ as the featured image for this blog. Go to http://grrrgraphics.com to see more of his work.