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When should professors retire?

  1. Oct 27, 2008 #1
    So my physics professor is around 68 and his grading methods drive us all up the walls. He's very old school and it seems as though he will pick one person a class and give them the A. His grading methods change from test to test so we never know how to present the material. In one test he'll take off points for not explicitly stating where an equation came from or why we know the information that is written. and then when you do that on another test he'll take off points for having now "unnecessary" material and not presenting it in a professional manner. Does this seem fair to anyone?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2008 #2


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    Yes! You should all be flogged until you can recite your log tables.

    Have you asked him how his grading method works?
  4. Oct 27, 2008 #3


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    Contact the head of the department.
  5. Oct 27, 2008 #4


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    Or perhaps you've overcorrected? He may be trying to teach you just the right amount of information to present...think Goldilocks and the Three Bears...too little is not good, nor is too much, it has to be just right.

    If you're not sure how he's grading, make an appointment for office hours and ASK before complaining about it. If he can't explain it, then you have a legitimate concern. If he gives you an explanation, then you know what you need to do and can do it and not keep complaining when there's a good reason for it.
  6. Oct 27, 2008 #5
    This is in fact a very good way to teach physics. You should aim to master the subject from first principles and not just aim for high grades in tests.
  7. Oct 27, 2008 #6


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    You can learn a lot from the old guys. My two favorites were Cecil Reynolds (Prof Emeritus of English and Rhodes Scholar) and Erling Skorpen (head of the philosophy dept), who lured me from engineering to liberal arts when I was a young pup. These guys were old-school, performance-based graders, and they were tireless advocates for students that they thought had some spark and potential.
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