Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Attending to Attendance

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 11th, 2015

Sound pedagogy involves communication, not just of the ideas we teach, but also of the expectations we have and the demands we make. Especially with regard to policies that can incur a tension-filled backlash, a few minutes of explanation can help students approach our classes in the spirit in which we offer them.
One issue where “buy-in” can be particularly tricky is attendance. At large urban institutions like mine, where many students live off campus and cannot merely roll out of bed, don some approximation of near-appropriate dress, and drag themselves 100 yards to an adjoining classroom building, arrival at any point during a 75-minute period is often presented as a feat of epic proportions.

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