Teaching Those Courses Students Don’t Want to Take
And there seems to be lots of them: required general education courses in content areas the student deems completely uninteresting, those with a reputation for being hard, and others that require skills students know they don't have and feel they cannot acquire. With all that teaching entails—content to get through, material to prepare, assignments to grade, office hours, and e-mail—students' obvious negative attitudes are just one more thing that doesn't make the job easy or pleasant. However, in most cases there are good reasons for students to be taking these courses and those are also reason enough for us to commit to doing what we can to change students' minds. So, here's some strategies. Most of them aren't new or terribly creative, but all of them have been known to work.