I usually develop a reputation for having a frustrating/difficult class. Some recognize that they learn a lot.
When I’m asked about why I choose assignments, activities, and assessments that are frustrating, I respond with two points:
1) Learning sometimes involves modifying deeply held beliefs. Making sense of complexity, paradox, and nuance is not straight-forward. Reinforcement of established beliefs is easy, but learning is frustrating.
2) When parents discipline their children, the children do not like it. Yet, parents continue to discipline because they believe the discipline is good for the child.* I know students might not like certain aspects of my course, but I hope they know that I have their best interests at heart. **
*I know this could be used to defend all sorts of atrocities,
but this is where paradox and nuance enter the equation.
**Perhaps when we only worry about what kids “like” we
do more harm than good.