Thursday, February 1, 2007

Is Attendance Our Obligation As Well?

I hate my attendance policy, but I will continue to use it. Now, when I taught a course at a "real university" while on sabbatical I did not enforce attendance. Indeed, the best student rarely came to class and students who struggled with the material were bright enough to know they needed to come to class. It is not so at my regular place of employment.

I have never had a student who missed class often do well in one of my courses. When I started imposing an attendance policy in my freshman and sophomore level classes the pass rates went up. I believe that students have an obligation to the tax payers to go to class as needed, and that in my present context I have an obligation to make my students show up.

"The teacher is not to serve the pupil; rather, both are the servants of their culture."
Herman Hesse (1877-1962), from The Glass Bead Game.