Education: Values and Expectations

Conversation Exercises

Section 1: Role Playing Teacher-Student Relationships

In pairs or small groups, discuss what the student and/or teacher should do in the following situations. Then act out or write a dialogue about one of the situations. Make sure that you have a clear solution to each problem.

1. A student and a teacher are close friends outside the class. They have coffee together often, and even go out to movies and restaurants. Nevertheless, the student receives a D as the final grade for the course. The student feels that the teacher should change the grade to a C or a B.
2. In front of the class, the teacher makes an obviously incorrect statement that confuses all but one of the students. This student knows why the teacher made the mistake and feels it would be a good idea to clarify the misunderstanding for the rest of the class.
3. A teacher is correcting examinations and notices that three students all have the same wrong answers for every question. It is obvious that these students cheated. The teacher must do something about this.
4. A student has paid a lot of money for his courses. In one of the courses, the teacher is not doing an adequate job. The student feels that the teacher never prepares for classes, wastes time with attendance and unimportant announcements, gives poor lectures, and returns homework late. The student feels that it is necessary to say or do something.
5. In a course on world religion, one student is constantly trying to prove that her religion is the best. This student's attitude bothers the other students, and they complain to the teacher. The teacher must respond to this situation.


Discussion Questions

1. Should teachers try to establish personal relationships with their students? Why or why not?
2. Should the teacher always be an authority figure, or should the teacher try to establish egalitarian relationships with students?
3. Should teachers be strict or lenient with students?
4. Should a student be free to express an opinion that differs from the teacher's?
Conversation exercises taken from Beyond Language by Levine and Adelman, Prentice Hall, 1993.