|[a] Quirk quirk RF|
Well...while I do appreciate the little professorial enclave, I think that teachers should connect with their peers just as much as researchers should. When professors engage in research, "connection" is—of course—the entire point. Getting stuff out there and having it engaged and critiqued is the entire point. I think teaching materials should work in similar ways. To be sure, it is a little bit different. A class is its own small cultural unit, and outsiders often cannot understand from a single scrap of paper (or blog post) the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship and what exactly is happening in those three or four hours a week of interaction. A syllabus and a cluster of assignments are an inadequate archive, but I still think that we should share more, and not less.
|[b] Classroom RF|
That is the spirit of this series of posts.
Criticize if you want, but I will surely push back. I assign a whole passel of books to read, as well as a small mountain (小山) of writing. I believe that all of my teaching is "about" two things (far more than the titles of the courses imply): learning to read and learning to write. No one ever masters these, and I try to make my syllabi and assignments push both my students and myself to new levels with these basic skills. I have been at these tasks for thirty years in the world of higher education...and I am still working on them just as carefully as Larry Bird ever shot free-throws, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar worked on post plays, or Archie Manning threw out patterns to tires hanging from trees.
Fundamentals. Assignments are about that.
I have experimented with just about everything that I have found useful in my own work, and I will begin posting some of them as they appear (and reappear) in my teaching. It also saves paper, and is difficult to lose (if I had a nickel for every time I sent a .pdf file of a lost assignment...I'd have...well, a few dollars). Nonetheless, do not mistake me. I am not just posting them for the convenience of my students or even myself.
I think that we should share our assignments.
Just as with research results, there might be room for quibbling. Well, quibble away. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is professional activity. Teaching deserves that.
|[c] Open RF|