Thursday, December 10, 2009

Syllabi and teaching

I read an interesting article in Inside Higher Ed this morning about one professor's disillusionment at the turn that creating course syllabi has taken. He talks about the days when he looked forward to the creativity of producing interesting and thoughtful syllabi that reflected his enthusiasm for a course as well as having the freedom to change the direction of a course or the readings based on his students' interests and needs. But all this seems to have disappeared from his syllabi, partly due to constraints on his time but also due to increasingly strict institutional requirements.

As a soon-to-be teacher, I found the article a little disheartening. One of the side effects of my dissertation (on educating electronic resources librarians) that I was looking forward to was seeing the (anticipated) variety in the way different faculty teach courses as those ways are reflected in their course syllabi. But if professor Brottman's experience is reflective of a general trend away from creativity and towards institutionalized templates for syllabi that must be approved months prior to the beginning of a course, then I confess to being a little disappointed.

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I am... a wife a daughter a sister/sister-in-law an aunt a reader a librarian a doctor a quilter a niece a grandmother ;-) a cat owner 6 feet 1 inches tall a yoga enthusiast a cook