Teaching Philosophies: Bertrand Russell

Hazel Pearson, 2010-2011 Departmental Teaching Fellow in Linguistics, recently wrote in: I came across this teaching manifesto — by Bertrand Russell no less — and found it really quite moving. Feel free to share with anyone else you think might enjoy it! Originally published in a December, 1951 New York Times article entitled, “The Best Answer to…

Around the Web: Summer Reading

Over the past two semesters, I have become quite accustomed to reading Odile’s Around the Web blog posts every Friday with suggested readings for the week. Unfortunately, the end of Odile’s position as a Departmental Teaching Fellow also brings the end of her time as an editor of the Bok Blog (which makes me incredibly sad!).…

Around the Web: New Frontiers

Several recent news stories focused attention on the closely interrelated issues, in higher education, of technological innovation, rising costs, academic elitism, and personal, individualized small-class instruction. Apple entered the digital textbook market (prompting some skepticism); President Obama addressed the cost of higher education in his State of the Union Address; MIT announced that it would…

Term Papers vs. Blog Posts: Are We Really Having This Argument?

The New York Times published a special section on “Education Life” today, which included a thought-provoking article by Matt Richtel on the increasingly common choice of blog posts as assignments in writing classes. Richtel quotes blog-friendly faculty like Professor Cathy N. Davidson of Duke University and Professor Andrea A. Lunsford of Stanford University, who argue that blog posts motivate…

Around the Web: New Year, New Semester

Happy New Year! With the start of a new semester comes the opportunity to tweak your teaching persona and to try a couple of new approaches. Faculty Focus reports the results of a survey in which students were asked to describe their ideal professor and their typical professor, and suggests one way to bridge the gap:…

Around the Web: Blogging to Learn

Blogging might just be the next academic frontier, if you believe the New York Times. But does the medium lend itself to student learning? John Orlando at Faculty Focus thinks it does. Arguing that blogging harkens back to commonplacing, he advocates for blogs as a space where students’ original ideas can smolder until the moment…

Disciplinary Expertise, Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Today’s guest post comes from Cosette Creamer, a J.D.-Ph.D. candidate and Departmental Teaching Fellow in Government, who writes about the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary teaching. A recent article in the New York Times on St. John’s College observed that “as much of academia fractures into ever more specific disciplines, this tiny college still expects —…

Around the Web: Online Learning

In the news this week: the “flipped” classroom, in which the homework assignment is to watch a video of a lecture, and students spend class time working through the kinds of exercises  that normally constitute “homework,” with their peers and their teacher available to help. The flipped classroom raises questions about the value of, and…