Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It isn't that hard... people...


I'm having a wide-ranging bit of irritation today, all of it caused by "academics".

In one instance, a group has been making claims about the impact of their area on students. Problem is that, when challenged to back-up those claims their backs GOT up instead. This discipline often wants to be considered a social science, but when it comes down to it, it doesn't seem to be able to formulate and complete a research project.

ummm--- if a philosopher like me can throw out three distinct assessment methods without thinking about it too hard, y'all can do it too. I don't suppose you actually paid attention in your research methods class now did you? I didn't have one (philosophical research is quite different) and what I suggested was based on some limited work in writing assessment, a few critical thinking skills and a little bit of info gleaned from hubby. You have degrees in this stuff, get your poo in a group and support your claims.

In another instance -- DETAILS are important.
  • If you send a memo saying that the courses in bold need to be revised, isn't it important that you actually bold ALL the courses you think need to be revised? If y'all are going to nit-pick stuff about the forms we are filling out, the least you can do is to be accurate in what you are sending out. Also, checking the dates is important, as is using the 2007 calendar to schedule stuff in 2007.
  • If you get a memo telling you that a whole bunch of classes need revision, and your class is only ONE of the listed ones -- but, you are the only one formally responsible for that area, wouldn't it be a good idea to share the need to revise with the other people who teach that stuff? Bringing it up in casual conversation isn't quite enough. I took it upon myself to let those other people know -- but, you could have said something 3 weeks ago... or, LAST YEAR when the rest of us started the process.

And.. haa, haa -- the fight you have been avoiding is here. Deal with it -- years of janky class development has come back to bite you in the butt. BNCC isn't about you teaching just what you want to teach -- it is about what the students need when they transfer. When your curriculum revision consists of adding new classes and changing your discipline's NAME, you are avoiding something. Of course, I may be jealous because I can't call "Philosophy" anything else... I have to deal with real issues.

In all cases, I don't think it is too much to ask faculty members with multiple degrees and credentials to act like adults. Being responsible for the consequences of your action or inaction may REALLY suck for you in January. When that happens, don't say I didn't warn you. I'll have a pile of e-mails telling you to get off of your asses and get stuff done -- and, I'll be in a discipline that won't have a problem filling classes.

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