Is Discourse Human Research?

When I teach “memoir writing” to what degree am I “intervening” with human subjects when I grade their personal essays and confessional writing? It’s not research that I would ever report, but I wonder to what degree I am treading on fuzzy privacy matters as a teacher when it comes to grading my “human subjects”? Should I get a student’s “informed consent” to participate in a class where they are…

Gauging, and Improving, How Colleges Teach

Colleges have good reasons for not exposing their flaws, scholars said. Mark D. Soskin, associate professor of economics at the University of Central Florida, said, “Establishing standards or even publishing measured learning would reveal that the emperor, if not naked, has a much skimpier wardrobe than commonly presumed.” Once inadequate teaching and learning are revealed, Soskin said, colleges have to face a number of difficult choices, such as making campus…

A ''Waist'' of Time?

Meetings are often routine if not downright boring. How many journalists have counted up the number of hours wasted in a career sitting at night week after week, month after month, with a bunch of dull politicians? As opposed to the worthwhile hours they might spend in a local tavern engaged in lofty conversation over a beer with truly interesting people? –Bob Wyss –A ”Waist” of Time? (Poynter Online) Covering city…

Irony

As Cicero put it, Socrates was always “pretending to need information and professing admiration for the wisdom of his companion”; when Socrates? interlocutors were annoyed with him for behaving in this way they called him eiron, a vulgar term of reproach referring generally to any kind of sly deception with overtones of mockery. The fox was the symbol of the eiron. All serious discussions of eironeia followed upon the association…