Freedom in the Classroom

Report assessing arguments made in support of recent legislative efforts to regulate classroom instruction.

The MLA Pulls No Punches

Academic Cultures: Professional Preparation and the Teaching Life. Sean P. Murphy, ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 2009.

Teaching the Teachers

Teaching the skills of teaching has taken a back burner to publication and grant writing—to the detriment of both faculty members and students.

Statement on Teaching Evaluation

Statement outlining proper teaching evaluation methods and their appropriate uses in personnel decisions. This statement confines itself to the teaching responsibilities of college and university professors and is not intended as the definitive statement on reviewing and weighing all aspects of a faculty member’s work.

Pictures of an Education

In “My Pedagogic Creed,” John Dewey writes, “I believe that the question of method is ultimately reducible to the question of the order of development of the child’s powers and interests. The law for presenting and treating material is the law implicit within the child’s own nature.” Teaching centers on the student, not on learning outcomes or assessment.

What Can We Learn from Composition Instruction in the 1960s?

Interests and Opportunities: Race, Racism, and University Writing Instruction in the Post–Civil Rights Era. Steve Lamos.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.

From Form to Meaning: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957–1974. David Fleming. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.

"Good-Bye, Teacher…”

Behavioral psychologist Fred Keller’s essay “Good-Bye, Teacher . . .” appeared in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis in spring 1968. Through it, Keller challenged teachers to experiment, providing his own “Personalized System of Instruction” as an example, and he warned teachers that if they did not start improving their methods, students would bypass them. At the end, he wrote: “I learned one very important thing: the student is always right.

Back to My Future

Many of us approach retirement with at least some measure of anxiety and trepidation. What will replace the classroom, with its daily joys of teaching and learning? Where will we find inspiration? Will the disconnection between a working career and a satisfying retirement be too great to bridge? What activities will be paramount in this new phase of life? For me, these questions were answered as I undertook a retirement odyssey that brought my future face to face with my past.

Making a Case for Academic Values

My recent experience as a jury foreperson highlighted the importance of collegiality, tolerance, deliberation, consensus building, and the unfettered pursuit of truth—traditional academic values under attack by those seeking to impose a corporate vision of “effectiveness” on the nation’s universities. This process of attack has been documented thoroughly in the past decade.

Prevention of Bullying on Campus

Elizabeth Farrington, an expert on women in higher education, defines campus bullying as behavior at colleges and universities that tends “to threaten, to intimidate, to humiliate or to isolate members of the working university environment [and] that undermines reputation or job performance.” It occurs frequently, and very often we who work in these environments are unaware of it.

Imagine the following scenarios: 


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