From a comment at IHE’s article on the Norfolk State professor who was apparently fired for failing too many students.

If you’re regularly failing a majority of your Liberal Arts students, the problem is likely with you. If students of biology or another “hard” discipline, on the other hand, are failing, the problem is more likely with the kind of education they’re getting before they get to you.

I don’t know what prior knowledge might be required in freshman biology, but I for sure know that any student in freshman history who hasn’t already learned how to write a basic essay is going to have a rough time, grade-wise. This is clearly a variant on the “grades in humanities courses are subjective and illegitimate; grading in math/science is objective and fair” trope, but not one I’ve seen before.

I comfort myself with the notion that I know many biology and hard science professors who would also consider it idiotic. Also, the person linked from the comment (hitnrun) does not appear to be a professor. So I will just sadly observe that this is probably a relatively common attitude that I may have to deal with at some point.

Advertisements