Are Students Idiots?

!!@@#dddddd444lotr_18thAre Students Idiots?

There is a new article in Slate written by Rebecca Schuman.

She discusses (the article is linked below) a famous college professor named Slavoj Zizek who is important in his field, loved by his students but considers those same students to be idiots. Zisek also hates office hours and gets upset whenever a student shares a personal story or wants to be friends.

Let’s be clear, I do not regard my students as idiots. I like my students and want them to succeed. Mr. Zizek’s opinion of his students is offensive to me.

However is this a business ethics problem?

On the surface, there would seem to be no problem at all. He is popular with his students and important in his field. We can safely conclude that he is teaching his classes successfully, so where’s the problem? I want to find a problem because I don’t like his attitude but he fulfills the requirements of his position and his students find him lovable. I would like to think I can probe beneath his success at his job and find some moral lack but by the rules of business ethics, I don’t see one.

I view teaching as a calling, more an art than a science. So when someone finds his students in a sense, unworthy, my personal values seemed to be attacked. I would rather every professor cared about their students as much as I do. I would rather that every professor would willingly do his office hours. And I would rather that professors feel honored that a student would confide in them.

I don’t know if you remember Wesley’s line from the movie, The Princess Bride, when he says to Montoya, “Learn to live with disappointment.” Apparently, I have to learn that too.

James Pilant

Slavoj Zizek calls students stupid and boring. Stop worshiping this man! (VIDEO.)

He is also a grade-A, number-one, world-class jerk, who brings to life the worst caricature of the humanities eminence: someone who loves subjecting other people to his talks, but who loathes contact with students—who, being “like other people,” are mostly “boring idiots.”

via Slavoj Zizek calls students stupid and boring. Stop worshiping this man! (VIDEO.).

4 thoughts on “Are Students Idiots?

  1. Karen Magreevy

    I had an instructor at TCC who taught Human Development. He was one of the strangest instructors I have ever had the pleasure of paying to teach me NOTHING. And he would admit he knew nothing about his field.
    #1 he had never been married.
    #2 he had never had any children.
    #3 he had classic signs of autism (now that I know what to look for.)
    #4 he also detested office hours.
    #5 he was one of the most emotionally distant people I have ever met. No matter what the problem was.. it was YOUR problem and he would make sure to inform you of such.

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    1. I’m very sorry. That must have been a horrible experience for you. I tell you what why don’t you look me up on “rate my professor” and see if I fall into that category? jp

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  2. I doubt that most Americans will consider this deeply, James, but I appreciate the business ethics consideration. All have been students and naturally would hate Žižek. I’ve studied the guy’s work. Believe me, there is much more reason for Americans to hate him. Being largely Christian, Americans definitely would not agree with the second part of this: “Žižek argues that people’s deepest motives are unconscious and that ideology functions as a justification for the existing social order.” Perhaps his ideology drives his view of students?

    From a business perspective, is it incumbent on us as professors to have an appreciation of our students intelligence and rank it generally as high (whatever that means)? Or would it have been sufficient for Žižek to have just kept his mouth shut? Would that even be possible?

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    1. It seems to me that thinking your student as fools implies that ethical violations are taking place. Certainly they would lay the foundation for such acts. But there is no evidence that I am aware of, that any ethical problems have occurred. Also, he has academic freedom on his side. jp

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