How I love me some Ellen Langer on a wintry Sunday morning. She was the first woman to be tenured in the psychology department at Harvard. Sipping coffee, watching the birds eat peanuts I left out on my balcony for them, and, just giggling to myself at how many VT professors would never put Langer as a required reading in their course syllabus. I’ve blogged extensively regarding the topic of mindless teaching practices by top tier researchers who really don’t want to teach. Let’s be honest, how do we as students benefit from them? Feel free to look at my previous blogs on this topic and one of the most interesting was “Human decency in higher education might be missing at VT……“.
Being mindful is implicitly understood as having some degree of freedom to color outside the lines and the ability to say “Hey, maybe we can try something different in class?” Being mindless is taking that same excitement and telling the student “No, that’s not how it’s been done in the past and it’s too much work to incorporate that idea!” A very clear example of this is hearing some professors (journal editors) say they regularly desk reject articles simply on the basis that it doesn’t fit the “mold”. Hahahaha…..and my favorite line which I think is absolutely clever: “Follow the Golden Rule. He who has the Gold makes the rules!” Obviously, not all professors are mindless and I would never imply that. But, I do think it is a pandemic we as researchers of the future are facing. I support OpenAccess for this very reason. Yeah, I also wrote a blog on that! LOL!