Student Entitlement, Complaints, and Negative Perceptions

Student Entitlement, Complaints, and Negative Perceptions

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2779-4.ch003
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Perceptions are a fixture in the complex web of human interactions. The way individuals view each other is fluid, situationally dependent, consequential to relationship development and maintenance, and often walks a fine line between positive and negative extremities. This chapter examines students' unfavorable perceptions of teachers and course content. Many demographic features and variables can affect the way students perceive teachers, but race and gender are among the most salient and are, therefore, given detailed attention in this chapter. The chapter further pierces into the deviant behaviors of academic entitlement, nagging, nuisances, complaints, and offensive speech that infiltrate the teacher-student relationship. The pedagogical implications of student entitlement, complaints, and negative perceptions are also considered.
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Academic Entitlement

Entitlement is a prime source of deviance in teacher-student interactions, which has been legitimized by previous research that has noted today’s college students perceive themselves to be more entitled than ever before (Greenberger, Lessard, Chen, & Farruggia, 2008; Twenge, 2006). Entitlement is a relatively universal and stable characteristic that occurs when individuals expect high rewards or preferential treatment, regardless of their ability or performance level (Harvey & Harris, 2010). Entitlement is experienced in many areas of life, including the workplace when supervisors encounter entitled workers (Benton, 2006; Harvey & Harris, 2010). Akin to supervisors, teachers are also confronted with entitled students. Entitlement that occurs in educational contexts is considered academic entitlement. Academic entitlement is perceived as an individual construct “reflecting an expectation of academic success without the need for taking personal responsibility by exerting the necessary effort required” (Bonaccio, Reeve, & Lyerly, 2016, p. 211). In other words, academic entitlement is “a construct that includes expectations of high grades for most effort and demanding attitudes towards teachers” (Greenberger et al., 2008, p. 1193).

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