In our GRAD 5104 class I have repeatedly heard statements that some faculty are not good at teaching. When I hear these comments, I wonder whether I, too, have encountered professors who would be better off not holding a teaching role. Though I can certainly think of a couple of professors who were not my favorites, I think that my complaints are likely related to a difference in preferred teaching style.
Hensley shares in his 2018 article about a proposed style of teaching that he calls “trickster-style teaching.” He describes this style as a rule-breaker who uses tricks and jokes to bring insight and poses the potential benefits of approaching education in this manner in contrast to more conventional approaches that focus more on a somewhat cold transmission of facts.
When I think about the professors whose style I disliked, I wonder whether they had a particular style with which they deliberately approached their teaching, or whether the idea of teaching “style” had ever been a consideration in their minds at all. Though I assume that an explanation of one’s teaching philosophy would be a required component in obtaining a faculty position, it seems quite possible that a clear understanding of one’s own style and personality in the classroom may not be explored as deeply.
What do you think of the idea of being a trickster professor? Are there other nontraditional teaching styles you have used or plan to use in the future?
Hensley, N. (2018). Transforming higher education through trickster-style teaching. Journal of Cleaner Production, 194, 607-612.