La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Lame professor sentiment of the day

Today, I'm reading about trends in teaching and the pedagogy of political science faculty. [And, not just for fun. It's related to my presentation on a roundtable on teaching strategies for women at next week's Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago.]

I came across this lame and somewhat rude statement in an article in the January 2003 issue of PS:
...don't be obscure, in either your speech or your assignments. Your students are attending the school where you are working because they couldn't get into the school from where you graduated.

I'm not sure that always assuming your students aren't as smart or prepared as you is a useful mindset. I prefer to think that if we challenge our students, most of them will step up to the challenge. Of course, it may require more effort or support from the prof if students aren't very well prepared for our courses. There's a difference between being smart and being academically prepared. Most students are smart, but not all have sufficient preparation for success in college. And then, there are those that are both smart and well prepared but not well motivated.

But then again, I do have the privilege of teaching undergrads with average SAT scores exceeding 1200, most of whom are smart, well-prepared and highly motivated.

posted by Michelle @ 11:17 AM,


At 4/02/2007 12:39 PM, Blogger Chris Lawrence said...

That's exactly right. After all, my Ole Miss, Millsaps, Duke, and SLU students were there because they couldn't get into the University of Memphis. Elitist pinhead.

Which reminds me, I guess I should get on my Midwest paper revisions today.

At 4/02/2007 7:45 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Good point--this guy was teaching at some university in a country I've barely heard of or have heard of but would never want to visit. So maybe he's bitter. But still...

At 5/21/2007 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should not post such a vulgar commentary by an academic colleague without identifying the article and the author. Its simple too cute by half to leave it to your readers to scurry to their shelf-full of PS (as if we'd all have them handy) to look up the quote.

At 5/22/2007 9:11 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

True, but I didn't want the poor guy's first google hit to be my blog's cite of his article.


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