Hello Jim et al, So that readers will know the context of my note in relation to this complicated subject thread: Jim mentioned that he lets his students know from the outset what he expects in terms of behaviors in his classroom. Then, he explains that he is not a tyrant and will do whatever is necessary to help the students understand the material. I agree with your methodologies, and am especially in concurrence with your willingness to do whatever is necessary. The "If I can reach 'em, I can teach 'em" approach is one that I also subscribe to. Good for you, and good for your students! It appears to me that this issue expands WAY beyond the college classroom environment, though. A tangent of this issue that I am particulaly interested in is the behaviors and response patterns that students have established BEFORE they entered our colleges. Yes, we can do things IN our classrooms to mitigate anti-learning behaviors, momentarily. But does that speak to the bigger question here? I think there IS a bigger question. It seems that traditionally-aged college students today are less respectful of the process of learning for its own sake. That lack of respect for the nucleus of our higher ed. mission is demonstrated by behaviors that get in the way of learning; in specific, higher order learning. The question: Are today's college students less respectful of the value of learning than previous generations? If the answer to this question is "yes", then it is no wonder that learning at the college level is unacceptable or even repugnant to them. I would think that a person who did not like to learn new things would be quite resentful of the people and institutions that are telling him or her that they must engage in learning in order to succeed in our society. Indeed, if people do not like or want to learn new things, and they FEEL compelled to at least attend a learning environment because they have been told that it is essential in order for them to get a high-paying job, the most undisciplined among them will probably exhibit behaviors that are not only anti-learning but simultaenously -- violent. And THAT, is my area of interest in this issue. Today, as in the late 60's and early 70's, most of America's college students are quite immersed in their programs of study. But not all are, and that group seems to be growing. My assumption is that we can spot at least some of those disinterested college students by their behaviors; behaviors that appear to be decidedly anti-learning. Frankly, I am not concerned about the vast majority of college students at this time. However, I do believe that television programming, and the SIGNIFICANT role television programming plays in the socialization of our young Americans today, will continue to erode any national morals and values that still remain. A reliance upon, and acceptance of, Situational Ethics and the direction of television programming, I believe, are the two cultural phenomena that have led us to this point. So, now we can couple an anti-learning attitude with social mores that change according to the situation, and violence as an acceptable solution to problems. Viola! -- a half-baked hypothesis of why some college students may turn to violence to make themselves feel better about their dilemma! There certainly is a master's thesis, or doctoral dissertation problem here. Best to all, Pat P.S. I know that some organization has been tracking the first generation of "Crack (cocaine) Babies" as they progress through their school years. Does anyone know if that group of students has reached college age yet? If so, we all need to consider the (unintentional, negative) social behaviors that are indigenous to that group of Americans and how those behaviors will be manifest in our college classrooms. Sorry about being so morose, but the potential for violence in our colleges and universities is very real, I fear. We should do something about the cause of that potential violence BEFORE it erupts.