Will this be on the test?
This is the question that we struggle with every new semester. It reveals what and where the focus of students has been trained into them over the last 12 years of primary schooling.
Will this impact my grade?
This is the question that reveals the struggle between attaining real learning, real connection with material, and real engagement, and the need for accreditation, for getting the “right” job and for fitting in all the ways that society demands of us.
Will this be in the lecture?
This is the question that reveals a deep desire for certainty and the continuing pushback against the Socratic, the uncertain, and the unpleasant friction of the unknown.
There are no lectures that can cover the ingrained need that these three questions reveal.
There are no carefully crafted syllabi.
There are no YouTube videos and there is not enough clever gaming of student’s pre-wired psychology.
And the professor that spends a semester (or several) preparing more for successfully neutralizing these questions than for engagement and connection with material that could be life-changing, is the professor who has invested in playing a game whose hand was dealt way back in kindergarten.