ISBN-10:
0674060164
ISBN-13:
9780674060166
Pub. Date:
04/01/2011
Publisher:
Harvard
The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another

The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another

by Rebecca D. Cox

Paperback

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Overview

The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another

They’re not the students strolling across the bucolic liberal arts campuses where their grandfathers played football. They are first-generation college students—children of immigrants and blue-collar workers—who know that their hopes for success hinge on a degree.

But college is expensive, unfamiliar, and intimidating. Inexperienced students expect tough classes and demanding, remote faculty. They may not know what an assignment means, what a score indicates, or that a single grade is not a definitive measure of ability. And they certainly don’t feel entitled to be there. They do not presume success, and if they have a problem, they don’t expect to receive help or even a second chance.

Rebecca D. Cox draws on five years of interviews and observations at community colleges. She shows how students and their instructors misunderstand and ultimately fail one another, despite good intentions. Most memorably, she describes how easily students can feel defeated—by their real-world responsibilities and by the demands of college—and come to conclude that they just don’t belong there after all.

Eye-opening even for experienced faculty and administrators, The College Fear Factor reveals how the traditional college culture can actually pose obstacles to students’ success, and suggests strategies for effectively explaining academic expectations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674060166
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 131,498
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rebecca D. Cox is Assistant Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University.

Table of Contents


  1. Today’s College Students

  2. Part 1: Students
  3. The Student Fear Factor

  4. Student Aspirations: Getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck

  5. “How Is That Helping Us?”

  6. Part 2: Classroom Dynamics
  7. College Teaching

  8. Professors Who “Come Down to Our Level”

  9. Part 3: Gatekeeping
  10. Academic Literacies

  11. Reimagining College from the Inside Out


  • Appendix: The Research Studies

  • Notes

  • Acknowledgments

  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Rebecca Cox's argument is both simple and compelling. She reminds us that students often enter classrooms feeling academically inadequate, with very limited definitions of 'real' instruction or 'useful' knowledge. Combine that with teachers' definitions of learning, and of what's important to know, and the result can be mutual frustration, with each side blaming the other. We have learned a great deal in the last twenty years about what goes on in classrooms. But no one before Cox has shown so clearly what teacher-student interactions about learning and teaching are like, how these are interpreted, or misinterpreted, and with what consequences. The implications go far beyond community colleges. This is a book that should be read by every teacher at every level.

Marvin Lazerson

Rebecca Cox's argument is both simple and compelling. She reminds us that students often enter classrooms feeling academically inadequate, with very limited definitions of 'real' instruction or 'useful' knowledge. Combine that with teachers' definitions of learning, and of what's important to know, and the result can be mutual frustration, with each side blaming the other. We have learned a great deal in the last twenty years about what goes on in classrooms. But no one before Cox has shown so clearly what teacher-student interactions about learning and teaching are like, how these are interpreted, or misinterpreted, and with what consequences. The implications go far beyond community colleges. This is a book that should be read by every teacher at every level.
Marvin Lazerson, University of Pennsylvania

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