A Career-Aligned Major Isn’t Enough

I’ve taken over teaching the English department’s relatively new career focus sequence, so I’m more than usually invested in these ideas.

It’s time for faculty and administrators to be blunt: postgraduation success, more than ever, requires a demanding curriculum that includes extensive writing, facility with data and statistics, and extensive opportunities for collaboration and critical thinking.

What the pandemic should have taught us is that we need to double down on teaching — not teaching defined simply as instruction or content transmission, but as mentoring, scaffolding, intervening, engaging in substantive interaction and providing constructive feedback. It also entails attending to students’ needs, confusions and interests and responding appropriately.

There’s a phrase some teaching and learning experts use to describe this approach to pedagogy. “Deep teaching” differs from more conventional approaches in that it’s more intentional, self-aware, evidence-informed, empathetic and learner- and outcomes-focused.

Teaching, in this more profound sense, is extraordinarily time-consuming and exhausting. It is a process that begins by articulating a course’s learning objectives, not defined narrowly as a body of knowledge and a skills set or even in terms of research methods and modes of analysis and interpretation. Rather, it encompasses the mind-sets, dispositions and habits of mind associated with a particular discipline. — Inside Higher Ed