Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On Course, #3: Teaching with Technology

In this chapter, James Lang stakes out what I think of as a moderate position on the use of technology in teaching, neither Luddite nor naive enthusiast. He points to some of the advantages, both pedagogical and professional, of integrating technology into our teaching, but also denies that we need to "radically restructure education" (44) in order to meet the needs of Millennials or digital natives. I'm inclined to agree, inasmuch as in order to teach effectively with technology, you have to know how to teach effectively in the first place. As Lang puts it, "the basic principles of teaching and learning" apply in "whatever environment we and our students find ourselves." Indeed, he goes so far as to allow that effective teaching can be extremely low-tech: "you do not need to make use of technology in any way to be an effective teacher." (59)

Lang doesn't dwell on specific technologies in the chapter, which is wise given that (a) many technologies have a short shelf life and are quickly rendered obsolete, and (b) the start-up costs of mastering a wholly unfamiliar technology are high.

The one technology Lang focuses on are learning mangagement systems (LMS's), a la Blackboard, Sakai, Moodle, WebCT, etc. He notes four uses for LMS's:
  1. They facilitate the use of various multimedia in the classroom. I try to show videos, use photographs, etc. when I can. As we've discussed here before, philosophy is a discipline that's not especially congenial to those with a strongly visual approach to learning, so we should at least try to augment the highly verbal-textual content with visual materials. Does anyone have any examples from their own teaching of innovative uses of multimedia?
  2. LMS's create an organized course space that will automatically tabulate grades, etc.
  3. They provide a documentary history for one's teaching (useful for promotion and tenure), as well as making it easy to draw upon old course materials to create new courses and materials. I have to say that I've become highly reliant on Blackboard as a repository of quizzes, writing assignments, etc., that I can use to design or revise courses.
  4. LMS's offer discussion boards to build community among students, enabling those less willing to speak openly in class contribute to the class discussions on their own terms. Lang has some nice ideas as to how to use the boards: scanning their content to identify common learning challenges the students are facing, the 'log assignment' (pp. 50-51), etc. He recommends making participation in the discussing boards mandatory rather than optional, lest you end up with the e-quivalent of "crickets chirping." That certainly echoes my experience. Students will not contribute to these discussion boards unless they're required to do so. My sense is that the novelty of participating in these boards wore off a long time ago. On the other hand, I've not been entirely happy with the outcome even when I have required students to contribute to online discussion boards. In many respects, the very problems that occur in classroom discussion replicate themselves in online forums. Students write without thinking, have not prepared by reading the material, don't engage very deeply with one another's ideas, make pro forma efforts ("That's so true," "I agree with that," etc.). There are exceptions, of course — and perhaps my own experience is exceptional — but I've formed the provisional hypothesis that online discussion works well only when students already have the skills and attitudes that enable useful offline discussion (and only a few students have those skills and attitudes). But I'd be most interested in hearing others' thoughts on the use of online discussion.
This links to one last remark I wanted to offer. Lang's chapter is about teaching with technology but says relatively little about students learning with technology. This is a bit of a surprise, considering how I praised Lang in an earlier post for highlighting the shift from teaching to learning:
The simple observation that the question 'what or how should I teach?' is subordinate to the question 'what will students learn?' is still revolutionary, despite the fact approaching teaching in terms of student learning is now the central theme of almost all the literature on college teaching.

Yet as some of my recent posts might suggest, the main issue with technology is not our using it, but our using it to help students learn. And I'm somewhat pessimistic that our students know how to use technology to learn, regardless of how adept they are at using technology.

Next up will be a topic dear to all our hearts (lecturing), but please take this chance to share your thoughts and ideas about teaching with technology.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update on digital students

When I last lamented the challenges presented by technology-infatuated Millennial generation students, several of our astute commenters were skeptical (perhaps understandbly) that this group of students really does bring a coherent set of attitudes or abilities to their academic studies.

So here's one for those skeptics: In an article 'Generational myth' (Chronicle of Higher Ed), Siva Vaidhyanathan tries to pour cold water on the claim that a generation of tech-savvy students exists:


A tidbit from the article:
I have been hearing some version of the "kids today" or "this generation believes" argument for more than a dozen years of studying and teaching about digital culture and technology. As a professor, I am in the constant company of 18- to-23-year-olds. I have taught at both public and private universities, and I have to report that the levels of comfort with, understanding of, and dexterity with digital technology varies greatly within every class. Yet it has not changed in the aggregate in more than 10 years.

Every class has a handful of people with amazing skills and a large number who can't deal with computers at all. A few lack mobile phones. Many can't afford any gizmos and resent assignments that demand digital work. Many use Facebook and MySpace because they are easy and fun, not because they are powerful (which, of course, they are not). And almost none know how to program or even code text with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Only a handful come to college with a sense of how the Internet fundamentally differs from the other major media platforms in daily life.

College students in America are not as "digital" as we might wish to pretend. And even at elite universities, many are not rich enough. All this mystical talk about a generational shift and all the claims that kids won't read books are just not true. Our students read books when books work for them (and when I tell them to). And they all (I mean all) tell me that they prefer the technology of the bound book to the PDF or Web page.

Much of what Vaidhyanathan proceeds to say strikes me as sensible: that generalizations about generations are dangerous and imprecise; that they tend to overlook diversity, especially economic diversity; that it would be unwise to upend well-established educational practices to fit the learning habits of a few students who are technologically sophisticated. I would also add that I think we need to make the case for the limits of digital technology and technology generally — that there's a reason to read the Republic rather than watch the movie.

At the same, though, Vaidhyanathan hits on exactly what I think is hard about integrating technology into our teaching. Students, even the technologically sophisticated ones, know little about how to use technology to learn. Oh, students can use technology a thousand different ays. But what we should be worried about isn't whether they know HTML. It's a matter of whether they can distinguish reputable WWW sources and unreputable ones, for example. It's a matter of whether they can watch a YouTube video on a controversial ballot measure and decode it rather than being swayed by its misleading suggestions or imagery. It's a matter of whether they take advantage of the awesome power afforded them by modern word processing technology to actually revise their work. It's a matter of being able to communicate meaningfully in a digital forum beyond "I agree with that." And if we expect students, whatever their level of technological know-how, to learn through technology, then these are the things we need to emphasize, not knowledge of programming languages.

Maybe James Lang will help us out with these issues on Wednesday!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Follow the Wake!

Folks might notice that I put a link on the right to enable ISW readers to follow our blog. Please become a follower if you so desire. It's a great way to keep up with what's happening here.



Staying 'On Course', part 3: Teaching with technology

Coming to a blog near you: James Lang on teaching and technology. Stay tuned for our discussion this coming Wednesday, October 29!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A No Longer Teaching Philosophy Blog

Here is a new blog called "Leaving Academia Behind" that some ISW readers might find interesting. The blog's author (and others pondering similar moves) would, I'd guess, appreciate anyone's relevant experiences, observations and advice. Here's the blurb about it:
"This blog has been created to explain my decision to leave academia behind. In addition, I hope that it can serve as a guide to those in a similar situation. I know that when I first made the decision I did not know what I'd be doing next. Discovering that there are things to do outside of academia took some time and hopefully this blog can help speed that up."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Judging one's own competence, or Yikes!

We've identified and diagnosed the illusion of understanding in the past: that students often presume they have mastered a body of knowledge when in fact their understanding of it is superficial at beast.

I was therefore intrigued by some of the research findings about our ability to judge our own competence discussed in this Salon article:

Unfortunately, cognitive science offers some fairly sobering observations about our ability to judge ourselves and others.

Perhaps the single academic study most germane to the present election is the 1999 psychology paper by David Dunning and Justin Kruger, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments." The two Cornell psychologists began with the following assumptions.
  1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
  2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
  3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
To put their theories to the test, the psychologists asked a group of Cornell undergraduates to undergo a series of self-assessments, including tests of logical reasoning taken from a Law School Admissions Test preparation guide. Prior to being shown their test scores, the subjects were asked to estimate how they thought they would fare in comparison with the others taking the tests.

On average, participants placed themselves in the 66th percentile, revealing that most of us tend to overestimate our skills somewhat. But those in the bottom 25 percent consistently overestimated their ability to the greatest extent. For example, in the logical reasoning section, individuals that scored in the 12th percentile believed that their general reasoning abilities fell at the 68th percentile, and that their overall scores would be in the 62nd percentile. The authors point out that the problem was not primarily underestimating how others had done; those in the bottom quartile overestimated the number of their correct answers by nearly 50 percent. Similarly, after seeing the answers of the best performers -- those in the top quartile -- those in the bottom quartile continued to believe that they had performed well.

The converse also bears repeating. Despite the fact that students in the top quartile fairly accurately estimated how well they did, they also tended to overestimate the performance of others. In short, smart people tend to believe that everyone else "gets it." Incompetent people display both an increasing tendency to overestimate their cognitive abilities and a belief that they are smarter than the majority of those demonstrably sharper.
Boy does this shed light on the challenges of teaching! I assume ol' Socrates was right: You can't teach what you don't know. So here we instructors are (and assuming we conform to the study's findings) "getting it" and assuming others do as well, while many of those who don't get it — our students — think they do even in the face of evidence to the contrary. And the less competent the student is, the more likely they are to exaggerate their competence.

So: Is the enterprise of teaching doomed?


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Women's challenges as philosophy instructors

I am posting this as a separate thread (I hope that this does not come off as being patronizing) because I think that Becko has brought up a very important issue regarding the challenges that women face in philosophy and academia. Coming from the business world into philosophy I am well aware of the challenges faced by women in that sphere of human activity and interaction. I would think that it must be difficult to be taken seriously when historically the overwhelming majority of philosophers are men and course readings are focused on these figures. We do set the tone by what and whom we choose to teach so I am wondering how we can effectively deal with the damaging effects of gender stereotyping when I suspect that most, if not all, required readings for intro courses are from men. I am reminded of my introduction of the history of philosophy through the readings of Copleston who discussed in his introduction that philosophy as a discipline arose as a result of a slave-based economic system that allowed for the development of a leisure class. It has been argued (correctly) that this system also rested on the subjugation of women. I would be very interested in how Becko and others deal with this issue in their intro courses, as I am sure I am dealing with it inadequately.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On Course, #2: First Days of [Philosophy] Class - Part 2

This post is the second part of my commentary on the second chapter. It grew a little longer, so I'm separating it into two posts. It also makes for a nice division of topics for the comments. In this post, I discuss Lang's suggestions for using opening-day exercises to enhance student learning based on student preconceptions and one omission from the chapter.


Spicing up the first class (pp. 30-40): For people who aren't terribly new to the classroom, this will be the most enlightening part of the second chapter. First impressions go a long way towards helping students get interested in the course and raising course evaluations. Lang cites innovative ways of learning students' names and ice-breakers that get them comfortable with interacting with their fellow students.

But neither is as interesting as Lang's connection of opening-day exercises to learning theory. He suggests that opening day exercises can be particularly powerful learning tools when they connect to and start immediately to mold students' preconceptions about the course material. Some exercises he recommends involve documenting these preconceptions (in groups) and using them to set the agenda for the first week of the course, documenting pre-conceptions and using them for the basis of a first library research assignment, and using the preconceptions to set up a cumulative review at the end of the course.

For philosophers, dealing with preconceptions is, I would argue, even more important than for a lot of other disciplines. This is due to the fact that philosophy is generally not taught before college. This leaves students, many of whom have a natural interest in the subject, to invent it on their own from late-night talks at coffee houses (or, more accurately, Denny's) and whatever books they can find. Thus, many preconceptions can turn into misconceptions. Opening day exercises of the kind Lang suggests can go a long way towards giving the students a new context in which to understand and enjoy philosophy. For those students who haven't stumbled into philosophy, it can also whet appetites or calm fears, as the case may be.

Setting the tone. There is a lot more information in the chapter that will lead to great discussion (and better philosophy classes), but I wanted to end with one thing that Lang doesn't discuss: a professor's initial attitude. There is a lot of misinformation that gets thrown around at grad schools about the correct way to set the tone for a course. I remember several people telling me that it was not a bad strategy to "put the fear of God" into students on the first day. All of Lang's advice suggests against such an approach (it is hard to scare students while doing fun activities with them), but some professors can pull it off. (I'm thinking of one in particular who posts on this blog!) One popular use for "putting the fear of God" into students on the first day is to adjust students attitudes to the seriousness of philosophy and cull-from-the-herd students who are looking for a blow-off course.

I'm not such a professor because such an attitude would be really stretching my natural personality. This isn't necessarily a good thing. I do tend to end up with students who are trapped in a course that is much more serious than they let themselves realize in the first week or so. But the alternative is worse. Stretching a personality into unfamiliar territory on the first day can lead to real disaster, so it is something notable to avoid. Students can smell inauthentic behavior and they will prey on it like a hungry lion after a precocious baby gazelle. It's something to think about on the first day, especially early on in one's career. Striking a tone that one is not going to follow through on for the rest of the term is a trap that new teachers, particularly philosophers, need to watch out for.

I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone else thought about Lang's second chapter.

On Course, #2: First Days of [Philosophy] Class - Part 1

Welcome to ISW's continuing coverage of James Lang's On Course. This post is centered on the second chapter, "First Days of Class". Welcome to all who want to discuss the chapter in the comments. Following Michael's example, I'll review the basic points of the chapter and then highlight some interesting points and one notable omission. I'll also try to gear my comments towards bringing what Lang has to say into the philosophy classroom. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep it as brief as Michael, so I'm separating this post into two parts. This is part one.



Let me start by continuing the trend of saying that Lang has somehow managed to be comprehensive, insightful, and concise in his advice. New teachers as well as old hands can benefit a lot by considering what he has to say. With one omission that I will mention near the end of the second post, there isn't a whole lot more to think about doing on the first day of a philosophy course than what Lang recommends. In this chapter he talks about three basic areas: 1) preparing for the first class, 2) delivering the preparation, and 3) spicing it up. (This post covers the first two areas.)

Preparing for Class (pp. 23-27): Lang addresses two main issues in this part of the chapter: 1) what to wear and 2) whether to dive in right away or give students the syllabus and send them on their way. I think that in the philosophy classroom, both issues change slightly from Lang's treatment. In terms of dress, Lang has good, conservative advice: slacks and a collared shirt for both men and women, with women having some additional options that I don't claim to know much about. What drives Lang's advice is his excellent insight that one's dress on the first day is less about coming off as a professional and more about making students comfortable with your authority over their grades and progress in the course. I think, though, that philosophers have a little more latitude in what to wear than, say, an engineer or a law professor. We've already noted here that offbeat professors can seem somewhat cool to students and (not counting artists) philosophers may be the most able to capitalize on this idiosyncrasy. Perversely, philosophers can sometimes acquire authority by seeming unconventional. Of course, for students who fear philosophy as too eccentric of a discipline, dressing unconventionally can have the opposite effect, reinforcing their worst fears. I'm laboring too much on one small point, but the right advice is probably not to dress too far out of the element you are used to presenting yourself within. If you don't ever really think about it, err on the professional side. (And even understanding all of this, I would recommend fighting any urge you might have to wear a beret to your first philosophy class.)

Lang's issue is whether to give students the syllabus and let them go or to start teaching on the first day. He, as all other educational specialists I've heard, observes that simply letting students go sends the wrong message about the class. It can send the message that the professor doesn't want to be in the class and doesn't consider it a worthwhile usage of time. Interestingly, this issue is connected to Lang's next topic, allowing latitude for students dropping the course or adding it late. A popular reason for not spending much time on the first class is that it is wasted effort on students who will drop and energy that could be conserved for students yet to add. I tend to think that he is absolutely right about the message that simply sending people off with a syllabus sends. But particularly in the philosophy classroom, one is missing a great opportunity to connect to students' curiosity about philosophy and allay their fears. (I have a little bit more to say about this later on, so I won't belabor the point here.)

Giving the first class (pp. 27-30): I have a hard time believing that anyone simply conducts his or her first class by reading the syllabus out loud, but apparently it happens and Lang inveighs against it. There are certain reasons why going over the syllabus is essential, and these are much better accomplished by giving a general overview and only reading certain more legal parts. He also puts forth the interesting idea of putting students into groups to find three things they want to know about the course and/or the syllabus, then asking these to the rest of the course. This sounds like a great activity to me. I've also heard of professors giving a quiz over the syllabus on the second or third day of the course. Of course the latter doesn't have the advantage of getting students talking to one another.


I'll have more commentary in the second post on this chapter, but I'm looking forward to what people have to say about these two areas in the comments.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Why are good teachers strange, uncool, offbeat?"

My own reactions to Mark Edmundson's NYT piece on why professors are weird is somewhat ambivalent. It traffics in familiar stereotypes about the demeanor, fashion sense, etc., of the professoriate, but also captures something important about good teaching. A long snippet and some thoughts :
Why are good teachers strange, uncool, offbeat?

Because really good teaching is about not seeing the world the way that everyone else does. Teaching is about being what people are now prone to call “counterintuitive” but to the teacher means simply being honest. The historian sees the election not through the latest news blast but in the context of presidential politics from George Washington to the present. The biologist sees a natural world that’s not calmly picturesque but a jostling, striving, evolving contest of creatures in quest of reproduction and survival. The literature professor won’t accept the current run of standard clich├ęs but demands bursting metaphors and ironies of an insinuatingly serpentine sort. The philosopher demands an argument as escapeproof as an iron box: what currently passes for logic makes him want to grasp himself by the hair and yank himself out of his seat.

Good teachers perceive the world in alternative terms, and they push their students to test out these new, potentially enriching perspectives. Sometimes they do so in ways that are, to say the least, peculiar. The philosophy professor steps in the window the first day of class and asks her students to write down the definition of the word “door.”...

Good teachers know that now, in what’s called the civilized world, the great enemy of knowledge isn’t ignorance, though ignorance will do in a pinch. The great enemy of knowledge is knowingness. It’s the feeling encouraged by TV and movies and the Internet that you’re on top of things and in charge. You’re hip and always know what’s up. ... The cool character now is the knowing one; even when he’s unconventional, he’s never surprising — and most of all, he’s never surprised. Good teachers, by contrast, are constantly fighting against knowingness by asking questions, creating difficulties, raising perplexities.
Edmundson continues with some wry observations on themes such as the corporatization of the university and the sometimes pathetic way faculty introduce technology in order to seem hip and connect with their students.

I'm interested in others' reactions, but I had two thoughts.

First, in terms of our personas as teachers, I think 'weird' can be a good way to go. I don't necessarily mean by 'weird' here eccentric in a questionable-hygeine-forget-your-notes-mumbly-voiced way. I have in mind simply that it can be useful to be perceived by students as, well, different from them, simply because their perception of us is also a perception of what we teach. For example, I dress pretty professionally in the classroom ( a tie, sometimes even a bowtie a la 'The Paper Chase') in part to signal that the inquiry we're engaging in is distinctive. It's not surfing the Net or watching TV. It shows that I see the collaborative task we face as unorthodox, even demanding.

Second, I glommed on to Edmundson's remarks about teachers perceiving the world "in alternative terms" because it highlights something about the teaching of philosophy that often gets lost. In philosophy, a lot of the teaching is oriented around reasoning, but it is also an imaginative discipline in that by "asking questions, creating difficulties, raising perplexities" we help students to envision possibilities for themselves or for the world that may not have occurred to them otherwise. A lot of my best moments teaching ethics, for instance, have been when students, by following a line of reasoning, are caused to take seriously a position they had not previously entertained (that death is not an evil, etc.). Philosophy, when taught well, sparks students to ponder how the world could be rather than how they may have blithely supposed that it is.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Staying 'On Course', part 2: First days of class

Thanks to everyone who's been involved with our On Course reading group. The comments and discussion on Lang's suggestions about developing a syllabus were terrific.

Next up: ISW's Adam Potthast on the first days of class, scheduled for this coming Wednesday.

Monday, October 6, 2008

UPDATE: What's in a name badge?

A while back I mentioned a method I intended to try in order to help me learn students' names (among other things):
The plan is that on the first day of class, I'll distribute name badges to each student and have them write their names on the badges (I'm thinking of semi-permanent name badges rather than simply stickers). I'd collect the badges at the end of each class. When the next class meets, I then randomly place the badges on desks in the classroom, thus gently suggesting where students should sit. I'd plan to do this before each class meeting.

Well, I've got an update: I'm trying this in my larger Gen Ed classes, and I am definitely learning the names a lot quicker. I've not yet collected and redistributed the name badges, and I've not yet decided if I want to do that. I did add one wrinkle I like a lot: I gave the students plastic sleeve-type badge holders, along with one of my university-issued business cards. They then wrote their names on the blank side of the cards and put the cards in the sleeves, giving them a name badge and a handy reference with my contact information. In any event, the student reaction to this has been very positive.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Course, #1: Before the Beginning (The Syllabus)

So here we go: The first entry in our online reading group on Lang's On Course. I hope we have plenty of folks reading and thinking along with us.

The first section of the book concerns constructing a syllabus. I'll mention some highlights and then discuss some themes that struck me as interesting.


Lang's advice about what to include on a syllabus — logistical information, contact info, description, 'promises' or learning objectives, course policies, bases for evaluation, academic honesty statement, disabilities statement, and schedule of tasks and readings — is solid and comprehensive, striking a reasonable balance (we discussed this challenge earlier) between laying out a clear set of expectations and approaching the syllabus like a legal document that kills student interest and motivation. And in general, Lang's recommendations reflect good academic practice and really can't steer you wrong.

Let me mention a few issues from this chapter that deserve some discussion:
  • Whether to give students our home or cell phone numbers (pp. 3-4): Lang's recommendation is more or less "if you feel like it." I don't feel like it. One of the features of the faculty-student relationship that needs to be honored is that it is a professional relationship. We're not friends (yet), nor are we enemies. I tend to think of giving out my home phone number to all my students as crossing a boundary away from a professional relationship. And if accessibility is the issue, students can e-mail me, and I see my e-mail at least five times a day.
  • Learning objectives have a structure (p. 7): Lang, referring to Bloom's learning taxonomy, points out that learning has a structure, with certain learning tasks (those associated with knowledge or comprehension, say) being prerequisites for more advanced learning tasks (those associated with analysis, synthesis, or evaluation, say). This is a good observation. I gather by now that including learning objectives (Lang encourages us to think of these as 'promises') on a syllabus has become the norm. But a list of learning objectives doesn't necessarily highlight the sequential nature of most learning — that most systems of knowledge have an internal structure and that you can't just jump in and master any randomly selected objective at the outset. I've taken to listing learning objectives on my syllabus in three categories: basic, intermediate, and advanced. I'd like to think my doing so conveys to students a message about the logical or cognitive structure of learning.
  • Attendance: Take it or leave it? (p. 10): I like Lang's guideline here: 20+ students, don't take regular attendance. Does anyone out there follow a similar guideline?
  • Short, low pressure writing assignments (pp. 13-14): Lang recommends brief weekly writing assignments with low significance for student grades as a way of keeping track of how well students are learning the course content and for keeping them engaged on a consistent basis. I favor this, too, believing that we often don't ask students to write frequently enough and there's too much 'put all your eggs in one basket' in some philosophy courses (i.e.,the students write a few medium-sized papers and a term paper, say, with large portions of their grades hinging on them). Students need to go through the early stages of philosophical writing more often: thinking through a question or prompt, consulting the texts, fashioning a thesis, etc. Pre-writing is what separates solid philosophical work from the mediocre, so I've come to the conclusion that short assignments help give students more pre-writing practice.
Let me end with a couple of thematic observations about the book:
  • The revelation — from teaching content to enabling learning (pp. 1-2): The simple observation that the question 'what or how should I teach?' is subordinate to the question 'what will students learn?' is still revolutionary, despite the fact approaching teaching in terms of student learning is now the central theme of almost all the literature on college teaching.
  • Teachers as scholars of learning (p. xi): My favorite feature of the book thus far is how it makes use of the empirical literature on student learning. Lang wants to offer a "modest and realistic approach to teaching, one that has been tested and proven in the classroom as well as being informed by the research on teaching and learning in higher education," rather than a "comprehensive overview of teaching and learning theory." As I see it, this is exactly what most college-level instructors need: a scholarly but non-expert understanding of how people learn sufficient to enable them to put this understanding to use in their own teaching. College faculty need not all be scholars of teaching, but they can teach in an informed and scholarly way.
In any event, I'm excited to hear people's reactions to these points or to anything else that grabbed your attention in the syllabus chapter.