A Passion-Driven Teacher-Student Agreement

Angela Maiers, Weblog, Jan 18, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Something counts as an "agreement" only if either party could change the wording or refuse to sign. Similarly, a "contract" requires free and willing consent from both sides. This eliminates from consideration pretty much everything called a student 'agreement' or 'contract' in education. If the students cannot refuse to sign (and let's face it, they can't) then it's a sham. Now maybe such agreements 'work' on some students (they certainly wouldn't work on me, as I don't ever feel obligated to honour an agreement extracted through coercion). But they are misrepresentative, and in my view, for that reason, they should not be used.
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