What's going on in university classrooms?
What's going on in university classrooms? That seems to be a hot topic these days, with conservative interests worried that progressive professors are using university classrooms to indoctrinate the next generation of students with liberal ideals. A week or so back, Andrew Jones of UCLA Profs offered to pay students up to $100 to report to his conservative alumni group UCLA professors who preach what students perceive to be a liberal gospel. (McCarthy, er, Jones has since rescinded the offer of cash, but is still soliciting student feedback.)
Liz Losh at virtualpolitik weighs in on the publicity stunt from the perspective of a rhetorician. Losh provides insight onto the long-term ramifications of such campaigns and how professors and other concerned individuals should respond.
Anyone familiar with academic bloggers knows that in general they aim to make their teaching practices transparent. Unfortunately, some of the same social realities that drive Jones and others intent on stifling academic freedom force many academic women to blog anonymously. This is especially unfortunate because these women (as well as many men) can't stand up to take credit for their thoughts on pedagogy and sharing their classroom innovations. This past week has provided many insights into what it means to teach, and especially how faculty go about constructing courses.
Jane at See Jane Compute provides a "blogging about teaching" miniseries in which she hopes to "demystify what it is I do in the classroom." Over in the humanities, Dr. Crazy of Reassigned Time writes here and here about how she develops introductory literature courses that veer from the usual template for such courses.
And of course, there are always terrific insights into teaching, including course design, at the Teaching Carnivals, the latest of which is up at Ancarett's Abode.
In a related phenomenon to the teaching posts, Lisa at Paper Chase makes her academic labor visible by blogging about how she writes. I'm speechless--I wish I could be so organized.
Kudos to these and other women for making public the ways they undertake the more solitary aspects of academic work.