I've come to realize that the kids have no confidence answering questions if they haven't been taught what the answers were beforehand. It doesn't matter that I'm teaching them to answer questions through logic and problem-solving techniques. Skills that have to do with question deconstruction and response reconstruction are completely going over their heads, and it all makes no sense to them.
They simply won't try to figure things out on their own because they haven't got a model or a pre-approved answer to match and plug-in. No wonder group-work is something they dread, 'cos everybody feels stupid in a group. How can they contribute if they haven't already got an assured answer to the problem? And when they realize an answer is not forthcoming, they get upset, they rebel, and think the worst of the one trying to lead the discussion. You know who you are.
The kids often complain of being treated like human Xerox machines. I wonder, at this age, whether we can turn them back into human beings again, or if it's already too late? As it is, I seem to be pushing all the wrong buttons these days and, like actual Xerox machines, they're breaking down all too easily.
But whatever could have made our teenagers this dense by the time they reach JC? I think we can make some inferences looking at the letters in the ST Forum page of this morning, such as this one and the rest (minus the roadkill ones, although they do tell us something of our operate-to-instruction culture as well).
Now then... Education is rotting the brains of our young. Discuss.