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Paul Grobstein's picture

more on "boredom" in education, and a new place to discuss it

"learning how to gauge the effectiveness of one's teaching does require that the instructor learn how to become more reflective, and more responsive, about the students' feedback, both positive and negative."

Yep. And of course "it's difficult not to feel personally insulted by the visible boredom of one's students." But maybe it helps if one doesn't think of it less as a personal failing and more as an indicator of a need for interpersonal renegotiation?

"students may have profoundly wrong or misguided impressions of what more advanced work in a field is actually like"

This is another key issue worth talking more about. Is it actually a teacher's business to convey to students "what more advanced work in a field is actually like"? My inclination is to argue that what's important isn't what work in a field is actually like but rather what it is in a field that is meaningful to people outside the field. The only people who need to know what work in a field is actually like are those who are going to try and make a career in it, and that's not most of what's in most people's classrooms.

Delighted to follow David’s suggestion that we center this continuing conversation at Serendip. Let me further suggest that the conversation is rich enough so that it deserves it own location, specific to the issue of what scientists and humanist can learn from each other about education. I’ve created one at /exchange/node/2610. The hope is that this will not only make it easier to find one another but also facilitate other interested people joining the conversation. See everyone there.


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