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Thursday, August 28, 2008

First meeting

At the Arts and Sciences Council meeting I finally discovered why we, as a college, have been so forlorn in our efforts to improve. When our new interim dean was introduced she explained that she had taken both voice and dance lessons. It was a eureka moment for me. We finally have a dean who can really sing and dance. With apologies to Tom Lehrer:

You can't expect the college to win against her foes
With no one in the office who can really tap her toes.

All joking aside, I wish her well.

Now to the business at hand. I wish to thank those who responded to my post about mid-term grades. I was unaware that the original movement came from the Faculty Senate and not the administration. While I will participate, I can't help but wonder that we are still playing at the margins when it comes to improving education. Many still look for a magic bullet that will make everything just fine. After twenty-nine years, I am pretty well convinced there is no magic bullet. There are, however, many magic moments. A colleague once said that education consists of "professors posing interesting questions to interested students." While we are pretty good at the first part, the problem is the second part.

2 comments:

lawrence anderson said...

and thank you for your provocative comments to begin with. i do think this blog is a good forum for questioning some of the underlying assumptions behind the policies that get enacted, whether they come from the faculty or the administration.
i agree that "we are pretty good at the first part" as you state. in looking for names to propose for the "assessment" roundtable, i checked the master teacher lists. there are lots of good people all over the college (not to mention good researchers too; and the fact that master teachers are just as likely to be master researchers says something about UT).

Odysseus said...

Lawrence:

Is it ok if we also question the policies themselves, the people and the motives behind them, and not just limit our discussions to the underlying assumptions?

I wouldn't want to do any unauthorized thinking or take part in discussions that did not have your imprimatur