On the first day of class I always tell my students to put away their laptops, cell phones, tablets… all “technology.” “We’re going back to caveman days. Your only tools for this class are paper and pencil,” I say sternly, almost scolding. The students in the front smirk as the clapping of closing laptops punctuate my mandate.
As many instructors will agree, electronic technology-usage in the classroom only serves to distract students, permitting them to gently unclasp fragile threads of their attention to the lecture as they check their Facebook statuses, Instagram posts, and Twitter comments.
But this summer in my Asian American Histories course, I did something quite different. I made Instagram a crucial part of their grade. Continue reading
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArnMS6dselE One of the most engaging facets of my own graduate career in American Studies, and in working as a cultural/urban geography professor, is when my students and I are involved in interdisciplinary projects that support community partners. All upper-level students in the geography program at my institution complete projects as part of the Columbus … Continue reading
This is the final submission in our forum on Mark Edmundson’s Why Teach?: In Defense of a Real Education. See earlier responses by Elizabeth Hutchinson, Stephen Brauer, and Lee Bebout. We hope to be able to run forums in the future, as these have been insightful and engaging. – AMSJ staff Review of Mark Edmundson’s Why Teach – … Continue reading
Strategic Alliances and Strange Bedfellows: A Response to Edmundson’s Why Teach? I began teaching because I wanted to impact students’ lives through literature. Recently, that answer has not seemed to be enough. US higher education is in a state of crisis. The humanities are under siege. Through the rapid corporatization of academia, we are asked, compelled, … Continue reading
Transforming Not Them but Us: Response to Why Teach? by Stephen Brauer Mark Edmundson calls education “soul-making,” repeatedly employing religious rhetoric to impart the power of education to transform the individual who embraces it. While that’s terrific for those who see it on those terms, it is overly idealistic to imagine that most do or … Continue reading
After reading reviews of Mark Edmundson’s book, Why Teach?: In Defense of a Real Education (Bloomsbury, 2013), AMSJ’s editorial staff decided to begin a forum for our readers with four different critiques of the book. We were especially interested in discussing the seismic shifts going on in teaching the humanities in colleges and universities around the country. We selected four … Continue reading
Teaching America is a new project that wants to bridge the gap between university learning at American Studies Leipzig and high school instruction in the region of Saxony, Germany. Our goal is to make new media content on American topics more available to high school teachers in the region as well as to train American … Continue reading
I box the last stack of books, bag the last pile of handouts, probe the back of desk drawers for the last remnant of a daily teaching life. I clean the desk, wipe shelves, arrange chairs, force myself not to get all weepy, close the door of my office, and turn in the key. I … Continue reading