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I think my professor is making up stuff.......not sure what to do.

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So, I think one of my professors is making up statements. One in particular: 90% of allergies are caused by drinking milk-based formulas to babies.

OK, so I asked her about that statistic and where I could find it. She told me it was on the AAP site. Searched 45 minutes and found nothing. Looked thru medline....nothing. She makes other incredulous statements... and I am beginning to think she's fabricating them (other students found alternate truths to her statements before).

What would you do? I'm thinking about going to my advisor with this.

Go to your advisor. Who is to say she won't start putting fabrications on quizzes and tests. Then students would really start suffering because of her misinformation.

talaxandra

Specializes in Medical.

You might want to have more support for your position before taking this further. Asking her where the "90%" statistic came from was a good start, but maybe you could go back and say you couldn't find it and does she have a specifc reference. perhaps also collate a list of other unsupported and suspect statements, to demonstrate a pattern of behaviour rather than a one off incident. Good luck :)

You might want to have more support for your position before taking this further. Asking her where the "90%" statistic came from was a good start, but maybe you could go back and say you couldn't find it and does she have a specifc reference. perhaps also collate a list of other unsupported and suspect statements, to demonstrate a pattern of behaviour rather than a one off incident. Good luck :)

Great advise !!! I second them.

Oh there are a few other documented inaccuracies. Furthermore, she's not gaining much respect amongst some of my classmates, as she's very opinionated, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding, daycare, and single parenting. A few of us parents are feeling very wary of her professionalism.

But its the inaccuracies that is really bothering me. She makes up her exams using nclex test banks, so I'm pretty confident we won't be tested on "her" statistics. I will ask her for clarification on that statistic. I feel it needs to be defended if she's going to spout it out.

talaxandra

Specializes in Medical.

Excellent! When you opened with her 'fact' that 90% of allergies were caused by giving babies milk/formula I suspected she had a particular axe to grind. So you want to demonstrate that her personal biases or opinions about these topics (breast feeding, day care,single parents) are colouring or even distorting the information she's providing.

I suggest you frame it in a neutral, slightly concerned way, with as much supporting evidence as possible. Try to stick with facts as much as possible, as they are less open to criticism. For example: on this day she gave this fact, which conflicts with this (supported) information. Or: she has systemically failed to address/acknowledge this aspect of x, perhaps because it conflicts with her stated position on y.

I don't know that I would go toe-to-toe with this person. As long as her statistics aren't getting onto tests, who cares? I think if you get into a pi**ing match with this person, you will be the one to lose out. Just be aware that she is someone who likes hyperbole, and leave it at that.

If you mean American Assn of Peds a 2 minute search pulls up umpteen articles that support your teacher's pov. It's not my research project so I'm not going to bother to trowel through them looking for stats. I recently took a psych class where our professor required us to write papers on this issue and debate it in class. Just about everyone in the class was pre-nursing, a nursing student, or already nurse and doing continuing ed. Anyway people came down on one side or the other in favor of or against mandatory breast feeding and good points were made on both sides. There were no right or wrong answers and the discussion wasn't contentious.

My point - if your teacher isn't going to test you on her opinions I don't see the point in getting up in arms about it.

I'm not going to get into a debate about whether or not formula feeding CAUSES allergies. I'm looking for her 90% causal relationship statistic. If you find it, please share -- I didn't have much luck.

I feel it needs to be defended if she's going to spout it out.

I'd let it go and get through the class. Professors vs student = professor wins. She controls your grade and could really screw you over.

As long as it's not being tested on, I wouldn't care what this professor thinks. And I'm a single Mom who didn't breast feed. I think everyone is entitled to their opinions. I do agree that it's not professional for the instructor to discuss her opinions in class, or say they are fact if they're not, but don't step in the middle of it. If she is doing wrong, she will dig her own hole. In one ear, out the other. Good luck!

Since she is not testing on the material, your time and effort is probably better spent in studying and working on your other coursework. Let her talk to her heart's content as long as you get good grades on the material covered by the class.

Oh there are a few other documented inaccuracies. Furthermore, she's not gaining much respect amongst some of my classmates, as she's very opinionated, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding, daycare, and single parenting. A few of us parents are feeling very wary of her professionalism.

But its the inaccuracies that is really bothering me. She makes up her exams using nclex test banks, so I'm pretty confident we won't be tested on "her" statistics. I will ask her for clarification on that statistic. I feel it needs to be defended if she's going to spout it out.

It seems to me that you probably gave your child milk-based formula at one time or another and feel that her opinionated teaching style is offensive to your abilities as a parent. If that is the case, get over it. She may be wrong, but any instructor that is ignorant enough to offend the mothers of her class with biased, exaggerated facts probably isn't worth the time or trouble involved in a challenge.

You have every right to be offended, if that is how you feel, but you have to learn to let things like that roll off your shoulders. The bottle or breast debate will never die and you should never let anyone get under your skin for a decision you made, no matter what decision that was.

And if nothing I just said even applies to you and you are simply frustrated with her inaccuracies, do those really matter either? Just study what she teaches you and leave it at that. Arguments/challenges against an instructor just aren't a good idea. She is teaching you those things for a reason, whether personal or academic.

goodstudentnowRN

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 10 years experience.

Just let it go. The important thing here is to pass the class. I would just want to pass the class and keep moving. Ignore her fabrications, maybe this is the way she seeks attention.

MatRNstudent

Specializes in Post-Interventional Cardiology.

At my school students are allowed to run a digital recorder up at the instructor's podium as a supplement to written lecture notes. I believe this instructor knows when she is making skewed, possibly inaccurate, statements. With that said, I believe the information she presents would start to become a good deal less biased if she knew her words were being recorded (I tried it with a biology professor who was honestly out of control with her "version" of things and she changed her tone the very day I began recording her lectures).

Either way, Good Luck ;)

AOx1

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education. Has 15 years experience.

The issue with statistics is that they can be manipulated. Depending on the source, you can find various statistics. This is why we tell students to be wary of who funded the study, if the statistical tests used were the appropriate ones for the study, etc. For example, if I wanted to manipulate statistics, I could simply ask a handful of my students that love my teaching style to fill out evaluations, and then claim "100% of students surveyed state that LivetoLearn is the best teacher ever!" but this would not yield the same results as if I surveyed all my students, some of whom may enjoy my teaching style, and some of whom may detest it.

Unless you have your own statistics that are counter to this, I am not sure what the problem is or why you would want to go to your advisor. "I think" is quite different from offering your own proof and asking "Why do you think there is a discrepancy in what 'organization x' and 'organization y' report in their statistics on ______?" This type of question might actually get you an answer.

Yes, you will certainly run in to biased people wherever you go, but you need to do your own research before you go about reporting to anyone.

Edited by AOx1

She won't let us record her lectures.... I can only guess why. For the inquiring mind above, I actually did breastfeed my daughter. As much as it actually pains me to let this go, reading the posts and talking to some of my classmates (several feel the same way), the grade is more important than validation. I will however be writing a scathing evaluation.

Thanks to all who responded!!!

Good for you! Just remember that people who manipulate facts to prove their points know they are wrong deep down inside, whether or not they are willing to admit to or correct it. She is probably a very insecure person, or she thinks she is God's gift because she breastfed (and sadly, some women do). Either that or she is very passionate about breastfeeding and just wants more women to make that choice, which is understandable considering some women don't do it because they don't want to "ruin" their boobs.

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