Sunday, December 02, 2007

For my past and present grad-student friends

I found this post on fighting neoliberalism in the academy quite entertaining. Some of its recommendations:
* Reject the implementation of "benchmarks" or any other form of "standards" for merit raises or promotions that are predicated on quantified output.

* Reject merit raises all together and rather spread the total raises due the entire faculty of a department evenly to all faculty.

* Refuse to sell ourselves as "stars" to highest bidding institutions. This reproduces the neoliberal self-made "man," reinforcing gender and class hierarchies within the academy.

* Identify and monitor the behavior all 'frumps' (formerly radical upwardly mobile professors).

* Avoid grade inflation. In a context of grade inflation, instructors that seek to honestly assess performance find themselves at a disadvantage, especially if they are adjunct staff.

* Quit giving standardized tests and grades. Pass/Fail. Get rid of students who don't want to be there. Tell them to come back when they know what they are there for. If we stop treating students like cash cows, maybe they will actually appreciate learning.

* Make your students do the work - have them explain concepts to each other. Have them create materials they think are useful. Grade them for effort rather than results - they are there to learn.
Update: I suppose I should note that the recommendations are not by the post's author, but reproduced from another source.
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