Moving Past Survival

Although professors may hope to remove obstacles to success, innate personality and other environmental factors may influence learning more than what we are able to offer with the short number of hours we are in contact with students. Yet, there are some tactics that seem to encourage real engagement in undergraduate core classes: —Shari WilsonMoving Past Survival (Inside Higher Ed)

2 thoughts on “Moving Past Survival

  1. One of the most frustrating thing about teaching is that sinking feeling you get when you realize that some students just aren’t passionate about the field that you chose to specialize in. Or students who think they’re passionate about a subject don’t have the same passion about working hard… that is, they may like a subject because they’ve always found it easy to get good grades, rather than because they’re willing to put in hard time mastering the subject matter.

    Walt Whitman may have delighted in his barbaric yawps, but it was only from his position of having fully understood and mastered the conventions of traditional poetry that he was able to reject them and create something new. It’s easy to engage passion by jumping straight to the barbaric yawping, but it has no siginficiance unless students also understand what structures that yawp is destroying, who put those structures there and why, and what’s at stake.

    So, yes, passion is good. I’m probably just playing with semantics here, but I’d like a way to transfer “passion” into “enthusiasm” — that is, to involve them in the creation of their own passion (rather than expecting their professors to pour it into their souls). To realize just how lucky they are to be able to spend so much time in an environment where they can take full advantage of all the resources their schools make available to them.

  2. I liked this article; it offers some great teaching suggestions. I think the key to good teach is passion. Passion is really the root of all that she suggests; we should have a passion for our subject, and we should have a passion for helping our students learn. Thanks for the link :-)

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