Thursday, December 01, 2011

Does Everyone Have A Right To Be Respected

In an open letter to his school's new chancellor, professor and columnist Mike Adams says "no":
I hope you see the danger in granting a “right” to be respected. Once students begin to believe that respect is an entitlement they are granted - and not a privilege they must earn - the academic work product suffers.
I find his argument compelling. What do you think?


maxutils said...

well . . . it depends on the level of respect. you can't coerce respect; yo canwxpect some level of tolerance.

DADvocate said...

I believe in treating everyone with at least a minimal amount of civility, i.e. respect. After that, earn it.

Mrs. R said...

I talk to my students about respect often. I tell them that there are different kinds of respect. Every person should get the basic respect due them because they are a human being. Beyond that, respect is earned for kindness, hard work, generosity, and other positive character traits.

That said, I'm so glad to hear someone stick up for the idea that students should not automatically expect respect. Rather, they will need to earn it through their performance. Even at the elementary and middle school levels (where my experience lies), academic work absolutely suffers when students think they are entitled to respect, especially because they often confuse low grades, constructive criticism, and behavior corrections with disrespect on the part of the teacher.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a difference between civility (decent manners) and respect. The latter must be earned.

Ellen K said...

This is similar in philosophy to a YouTube video where the kids discuss bring your own technology. In one segment they chortle "all our answers are valid," to which I reply, no they aren't. This is the problem with the collaborative view of education-we are supposed to value wrong answers as much as we do right answers. Sometimes answers are wrong. And I don't think lauding correct answers is the way to teach. While I wouldn't recommend attacking anyone for no reason, there are those who seek through their own nastiness, to elicit attacks. Why deny them what they seek?