Lynda C. Lambert, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 17, 2012
"Over the 17 years I've taught writing at the college level, I used to occasionally have a student who was afraid to choose a topic for an essay, or even to ask a question, because she didn't know what was "right." One young man chose not to turn in an assignment at all, because he didn't understand the instructions and was afraid to say so. Now, instead of the occasional student in this condition, I'm getting classrooms full.
"So many of them are so unused to thinking on their own that they cannot formulate an opinion without being told what opinion they are supposed to have. And if someone shares his opinion, he is obviously—as far as many students are concerned—trying to foist it on others rather than offering them an opportunity to challenge that opinion and debate it.
"This should not be a surprise, of course. The types of assignments they became accustomed to in elementary and secondary schools were not subjectively graded but were rooted in a behaviorist system that, intentionally, does not challenge students to think or be creative. Instead it tells them what result they should have and then offers them the map to it.
"Unfortunately, following a map may teach them how to navigate, but it does not teach them how to drive. Few students seem to be able to find their way through their courses anymore without that map. And, interestingly, they hold the instructor responsible for their lack of learning if she does not provide GPS coordinates."