Who needs to improve if more than half of the class fail, teacher or students?

Philippines
February 18, 2011 10:08am CST
If you're a teacher and after the exam you discovered that more than half of your class failed, who needs improvement? Will you blame your student for not studying so well and for picking up the knowledge you have imparted too slow? Or will you acknowledge that something is wrong with your teaching that needs improvement?
2 people like this
11 responses
@beamer88 (4274)
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
Never blame the student. When a student fails, the teacher failed somewhere. I know this is somewhat trite, but I still feel that teachers have the daunting task of making the students learn. Sometimes I liken this to soldiers going to war. You don't blame the foot soldiers for losing a battle. You blame the officers who were leading them.
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
Hmmm, by meeting with the parents, what is she trying to find out? Is she expecting that the parents of this more than half of her class lack support for their children? Or is she just trying to justify the result that more than half of her class failed. I am aware that students do have shortcomings but if more than half of the class failed, it says only one thing.... they didn't understand the lessons. Why? 1- Probably, the teacher is too intelligent for them and 2- probably the teacher couldn't adjust to the level of these students who are too slow to understand or to cope up with her standard. Good teachers look ways to adjust to their students and not the other way around. During our time, we're lucky to have teachers who don't set too high a standard for their students to reach out to their level. Instead they focused on the quantity of students who would surely understand the knowledge they had imparted which equals to quality and not on how students should adjust to the teachers' standard. Well beamer88, thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)
@beamer88 (4274)
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
I guess it's also a good way of helping the students. When I said the teacher is always to blame, I didn't mean that the students had no shortcomings. Those who failed probably didn't study. However, it's up to the teacher to find out why the students didn't. And one way to do that is to meet and talk with the parents.
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
I agree with you but I doubt if a teacher with more than half of her class with failing marks will admit that she failed along the way. I certainly believe that she is to be blamed. But I couldn't understand why this teacher would want to have a meeting with the parents. Will meeting with the parents help the students with failing marks improve their grades? I guess, the teacher has to do some reflection and probably has to change her teaching style.
@krajibg (11945)
• Guwahati, India
18 Feb 11
Hi Rain, Very useful discussion indeed. These days when students fail or do not do well the parents simply blame the teacher in schools and professors in colleges. I myself am a professor. I teach both English literature and linguistics. What I have observed over the years that to some extent professors are a little responsible. Either are missing from the class or speak blah blah in the class and pushes off after the bell has rung. And when you come to your class all prepared and updated we would see that the students are not getting your points. Now tel me whose fault of this? When the students are smart and eager to explore things teacher automatically gets stimulated but when they are not you just can not pull up the chain. This is a reciprocal thing. Show me your interest and I am all for you.
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
Ooops! sorry Krajibg but it sounds good on you :). Anyway, you're very right. We're in a modern age now where various information technologies have been popping out like mushrooms and stealing away the childhood in every kid this early and yet the teachers still use old system of lecturing. They still make use of Manila paper or brown paper as visual aids since government universities lack the modern equipment like projector or computers in every classroom. And when student give their report in front of the class, teachers tolerate their way of just reading the content written on the book. What a boring way to listen. I might as well read the book myself at the comfort of my home. Spot writing is great as it can improve students' skill in writing. Many of the students nowadays couldn't write good English. I guess, teachers have to change their teaching style as what you have mentioned that the old age system of lecturing is still in use in today's time where computers and other modern gadgets are reigning the world and everyone's mind. Thanks you so much for your discussion. I'm learning. Good night... it's 2am now. Time to snore:)
@krajibg (11945)
• Guwahati, India
18 Feb 11
Yes Rain, you are correct. They are students and it naturally speaks in favor of them as they come to the classroom to know the subjects and if the teacher takes them for granted what would be the state of affair? There ae new thing and new pedagogical approach as to how we can make teaching learning interesting. The audio visual aids play a vital role for it attracts the attention of the students and they would be curious to know. We have to come out of the age old system of lecturing. Giving assignment, spot writing etc keep them occupied. Pls do not call me professor. I just happen to mention my profession.
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
Hi professor krajbg, nowadays majority of the students lack focus because of numerous distractions. Same goes with some teachers. I remembered passing by a classroom in one private university. The students were copying the lessons on the board while the teacher who was seated at the last row was engrossed with her cellphone, probably sending short messages or texting. I couldn't help but feel disappointed. No wonder some parents get freaked out seeing blank or half-filled pages in their children's notebook. During the time when cellphones have not yet been invented, teachers would roam around the classroom and would check the activity of each student. Before the bell rings, the teacher would initial on the pages where the students copied the lessons on the board. But modern technologies (cellphones, wi-fi internet,etc) have taken away the focuses of both teachers and the students. In the case I have presented for discussion, all I wanted to understand is that when MORE than half of the class has failed probably, it has already something to do with the teaching style of the teacher. I guess, he/she has to look for another way wherein his/her students can easily grasp what he/she is trying to impart. If only a few or say, half of the class failed, then I can see the reciprocal thing you have mentioned above.
@laglen (19783)
• United States
19 Feb 11
If more than half of the class failed, I would say the teacher failed. There are students that you just wont be able to get through to. But half? I would have to say that teacher is most at fault.
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
That's what I'm trying to point out earlier during the discussion. I agree with you laglen. Actually it's not half but more, more, more than half. The ratio was 8 students passed out of the 40 students in the class.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19783)
• United States
19 Feb 11
That teacher definitely needs to rethink her teaching techniques if not ability. Is this a public school? College? I would say administration may need to look at the situation.
@Supamoo (66)
• Nepal
19 Feb 11
It's obviously the teacher's fault! Since the student's are just the learners. I mean why the students fail if they came to study. If they didn't wanted to study wouldn't they just leave the class but the teacher. The teacher plays the main role. If the teacher's teach them wrong things then the students will also write wrong information on their test papers. So it's 99% teachers fault 1% to the student's if they're retards.
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
Well, especially if the ratio is 8:40 - only 8 students passed out of the 40 students in the class.
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
Hello Rainbowliselle, For me the reasons why the half of a class who fail is maybe it's depends to number of the students. The more is difficult for them to understand the lesson and for less is easy to them to understand the lesson and teachers will teach them well. and some cases is to the teacher maybe she have a small temper to teach them so it's depends to the situation. have a nice day..
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
I agree with you. Yes, another mylotter mentioned that students lose their attention when a teacher is "soft". To add to that, yes a teacher with short temper couldn't teach effectively as well. I remember when I was in college, the teacher in our last subject was quite a bore. She lacks the ability to communicate with the whole class. When she talks, as if she was just talking to herself that almost everyone in the classroom was talking with each other and was not listening to her. And yes, the number of students in a class is also a factor. In the case I have presented, only 8 students had passed out of the 40 students in the class. Whew! Perhaps, the teacher needs to change her teaching style then. Good night Neirolovemoh and thanks for the interaction.
@sender621 (14972)
• United States
19 Feb 11
If a classroom is failing with a subject, everyone needs to share in the responsibility. It can be blamed on just the students or the teacher. Everyone has to accept part of the blame. it takes students and teachers working together towards a common goal to achieve success in the classroom.
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
The ratio is 8:40 - only 8 students passed out of the 40 students in the classroom. So doesn't it mean something here? Maybe it's a sign that clearly says that the teacher has to change her teaching style then? Probably the teacher is too smart for the students in the class or maybe the majority of the students in the class are slow learners.
@sais06 (1288)
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
I suggest that before we make assumptions as to whom the blame should fall I guess we must try to balance the situation first. We must find out first how students and teachers are performing. Of course it was expected at times to a poor performing section to have failing grades but not to a good performing section. If half or more than half of a good performing section fails then we can assume that it's the teacher's accountability. And to teachers as well they must try to find out ways to reach out students who are performing poorly. Both students and teachers must work together for a class to be efficient and effective. There was this instructor we have back in college where only 3 students passed the exam. So out of more than 20 students only 3 passed! So that is very questionable. I was just lucky that I was one of that 3. :D
• Philippines
19 Feb 11
In the case I presented, out of the 40 college students only 8 passed. So what does this number tells? Good for you, you passed. But if I were the teacher, I won't be happy that only 8 out of the 40 students have passed. It will reflect the my teaching style or probably I need to go down more to the level most of the students in my class who need my help. Besides, in reality, high grades are not assurance to a very successful life. Many of my friends who did not excel in their classes are financially successful than I am who had been consistently belonged to class A. Nevertheless, I don't envy them because somehow, I belong to the average-income earner and enjoy what I do everyday. Luck, hardwork and perserverance play a big role in one's life and not high grades. However, a teacher's role is to make sure that many of his/her students understand what he/she tries to impart or tries to instill in the students' mind. 3 out 20 students... tsk, tsk, lucky if I belong to the 3. But the ratio tells that the teacher needs to look for another way in reaching out for the students, especially in times where distractions are so high.
1 person likes this
@ada8may21 (2420)
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
If half of the class fails, its not just the teacher needs to be blame. If half of the class where studying and got it right. Then its the other half of the class students where not doing their part. They are not studying their lesson that is why they did not pass. The should not be on the teacher right away. I am somehow believe that it takes two tango here. If the teacher have done their part imparting their knowledge the students must learn to appreciate it by studying it at home not just take it forgranted or ignore it once the class is done.
• Philippines
18 Feb 11
Well, it's not half of the class but rather it's more than half of the class. In a case like this, I wanted to believe that something is wrong with the teaching style of teacher. Probably she has to impart her knowledge using simple terms which majority of the students could easily understand rather than use difficult terms which only a few could understand. Probably she has to go down a little bit to the level of the students to be able to reach them out than expect them to grasp to her level. There is this notion that has been circulating for years that a very intelligent teacher finds it hard to stoop down to the level of his/her students thus many of his/her students finds it hard to grasp the knowledge he/she has imparted. Very intelligent teachers have high expectation from their students and couldn't understand why it is hard for their students to understand what they are talking about in front of the class. Well, for me, most of the best teachers I have encountered had not been the brightest students in their class during their time and yet they are very good teachers because they were able to instill in our minds their teachings and the entire class is successful in different fields though.
• India
15 May 11
Definitely teacher should be blamed if more than half of the students in class fail. This is a result of poor teaching for sure. If the student is not doing well, it is teacher's responsibility to work towards improving the student's grade & making him pass in the examination. We can not blame students in this case.
• Philippines
31 Mar 11
Hi rainbowleselle... Quizzes and exams are supposed to be feedback mechanisms for the techer to know whether the students learned as specific topic or not. Sad to say, instead of being feedback mechanisms, they have become judgements over student or teacher performance, which becomes a threat. It is more a threat to teachers, i suppose, and this is the reason why the blame for the failure is thrown to students. Students may be at fault to a certain degree but I would say that the teacher has more to carry for the failure. Students are in school to learn and the teacher should start at the level of the students and not above their heads. And the teacher should be sensitive enough and observant enough to know if the students are learning or not. And humble enough to know that she or he is not reaching across. As they say, with humility comes learning.
@cyan9306 (67)
• China
4 Mar 11
wow,more than half of the class fail?I should say that maybe the teacher take more responsibility for that.There always are some naughty students who don't like study in a class,but more than half of the class fail,that's too many.I think the teacher needs improvement.