Thursday, September 5, 2013

Whattya Teach? A Monumental F*&k Up from Hiram.

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  1. English leads at this point...but I got to say I never knew we had three "astrologers / astronomers"! I'd ask Fab if we could top post this for a couple of days so folks can get their votes in.

  2. Oh and I'm a shit for missing a number of perfectly wonderful fields that have been written in already, including these, most with multiple votes:

    Classical Studies
    Narrow Gauge Trains
    Kite Flying

    and a wide variety of the hamsterology / underwater basket weaving, etc.

    Keep adding your "others" and I'll group them in results.

  3. I am STUNNED that there are almost as many Psych folks on here as English, which is in the lead.

  4. Equally important is:

    What do your students learn?

    Next to nothing
    Close to nothing
    Nothing I teach them

    1. These cases are still important, Ben, in order for you to prevent them from becoming physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, veterinarians, or otherwise occupying positions of responsibility in which a knowledge of chemistry is essential.

  5. Sawyer sends this in...

    I answered Hiram's survey legitimately (I do teach a class), but it got me to thinking. I don't intend for this to be a Third Thirsty (Triple Shot Thirsty Thursday!) but it's starting to feel that way.

    Lately there has been a movement afoot that "Advising is Teaching." It's not a movement I have been able to get behind and advocate. A while back I was "encouraged" to attend a week long workshop with all my office colleagues, the outcome of which was an Advising Syllabus for us to use. (Bleh.)

    But I've seen a phrase come up a couple of times in the last week or so in a variety of contexts. It has me reconsidering this "Advising is Teaching" philosophy, and Hiram's question provided the catalyst that connected the free-floating dots. The phrase is "social capital."

    Many students show up on campus lacking higher education social capital- they don't know a credit hour from a grade point or financial aid from the cashier, let alone a natural science from a social science or the finer distinctions between a professional advisor and a counselor. "College" isn't something that is picked up in an afternoon Rah-rah orientation session during the excitement/anticipation of first semester registration. Where do students "learn" these things? Should it be "common sense," even though it isn't? Is it picked up through osmosis? My question is, ultimately, Is it safe (acceptable, okay(?)) to say, "Professional advisors teach 'college'?"

    Sawyer in Student Services

    1. I learned it from my friends' older siblings, my parents and TV shows in which the characters attended college. All of those sources are hit or miss, which is why I try not to smack students too hard when they mess up some of the basic stuff, like the idea that most of their professors (even the women!) are "Dr." somebody.

    2. It sounds okay to me. Actually, I kinda like the idea that administrators (even the front-line underpaid/overworked sort) want to claim the mantle of "teacher."

      But I do hope that the people complaining about rising college tuitions are noting the costs of needing to teach students these "soft skills" explicitly. The need may be partially the consequence of a number of students not having friends or family members who graduated from college -- in which case I welcome it -- but I suspect it's also the result of parents, and K-12 schools, not expecting enough of younger students in the way of personal responsibility, and not giving them enough experience with frustration, failure, and the whole picking-self-up, dusting-self-off, and carrying-on process. That could be done more cheaply, and more effectively, earlier in students' careers, perhaps leaving more money available for teaching of actual college-level content.

  6. Where the fuck are the natural sciences? I teach exercise science, and it is the one true major. We need to know all of your shit to be a qualified practitioner. Boom.

  7. I didn't know there was a survey. oh well...

    1. It was only running for a couple of hours. Hiram had some trouble because it was a free account and he could not run it longer.

    2. Which makes me wonder, who pays for CM??

    3. The past two years Cal has paid the tiny fee for domain registration. Of course nobody pays Cal to ruin all those graphics or for me to delete spam!

      We did give Leslie K a footrub though, when she quit. That was priceless. I mean for me and Cal.