Monthly Archives: September 2016

You: Hey professor, I need your help. Professor: I’m on summer break!

I am in the process of applying for professorships, and I keep coming across adverts that state that the job is a 9, 11 or 12-month tenure track position. I haven’t put much thought into how professors spend their summers and I have been sloppy about contacting them during “off season”. I assumed that they all were being paid during the summer break. Well, apparently not. If a professor is tied to a 9-month contract/agreement with the university…they are not obligated to work over the summer. There are many versions of this, but that’s what I have gathered from the adverts. I welcome insight from others, and I would love to cover this topic in class.

So look, the next time you decide to email your professor over the summer…put some thought into their relationship with the program. Are they a year-round kinda professor, or are they only obligated to respond to your inconsiderate emails for 9 months out of the year?

This is me, learning as I go…and I may have to apologize to a few people.

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What’s Your Teaching Style?

There are two major modes of teaching that are discussed in academia. Do you see yourself in either of these descriptions?

Didactic – Passive Learning

1. Teacher-centered: based on the assumption that the teacher is the primary agent in learning.

2. Teacher’s role: to impart the results of experience, personal study, and reflection.

3. Primarily deductive: the usual methods are lecture, story telling, use of analogy, and aphorism.

4. Test of truth: authority and experience.

5. Learning is the reception of ideas.

6. Student’s role: to be passive, open, receptive,
trusting, and unquestioning.

7. Evaluation is factual recall of data–commonly in the form of objective tests–right and wrong answers.

8. Ultimate goal: wisdom viewed as the internalization of truths and beliefs.


Socratic – Active Learning

1. Problem-centered: based on the assumption that the student is the primary agent in learning.

2. Teacher’s role: to uncover the question that the answer hides. To be a co-learner.

3. Primarily inductive: the usual methods discussion, dialogue, and problem-solving.

4. Test of truth: reason and evidence.

5. Learning is a conflict of ideas: a thesis, antithesis, and a synthesis that results in new knowledge (Hegel).

6. Student’s role: to be active, questioning, critical, and discriminating–learning to trust one’s own judgment (independent thinking).

7. Evaluation is application of understanding interpretation of data–commonly in an essay, speech, journal, or a review.

8. Ultimate goal: wisdom viewed as an informed ignorance (knowing what one does not know–the Socratic paradox).

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