Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Bowles Debate at

The following is a deeply insightful pedagogical debate about my teaching skills excerpted from the online site I can usually predict when one of these anonymous posts will appear...after a disgruntled student gets a bad grade or an enthusiastic student completes an excellent MA thesis. The truth, as always in life, is somewhere in the middle. Except of course for the last comment, which is completely accurate. 

The Detractors: Professor Bowles is a “poor teacher.”

The Supporters: Just wait a minute, he is an “outstanding professor.” He "provides feedback ASAP."

The Detractors: But his knowledge is “limited to personal interest.”

The Supporters: That is wrong. Bowles really "knows his stuff" and is “extremely knowledgeable in American history.” He was "one of the best professors I have had."

The Detractors: How can you say that? He does not “provide much guidance” for his students.

The Supporters: Are you kidding me? Bowles is “always willing to help out.” He “communicates quite a bit,” and he is “very involved” in his classes.

The Detractors: You know “He can’t handle being corrected.”

The Supporters: I agree with you there, I mean "
Don't disagree with him!!!" But he is “patient,” “extremely helpful” and “one of the best professors I have had.” The bottom line is "I highly recommend him."

The Detractors: No way. "I would not recommend him." Have you noticed the "typos common in his instructions."

The Supporters: Who cares! He has a "great sense of humor," he is "engaging," and "makes the class a whole lot of fun with interesting written lectures and videos."

The Detractors: Maybe so, but I can tell he has a “conservative bias.” He is just "not a great teacher."

The Supporters: Yeah, but "based on his photo, he's hot!"