Via the very useful email list Rick Reis distributes (Tomorrow’s Professor) the chapter by Craig Nelson on Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor came to my attention, and should to yours. This is just spot on. If you’ve stood in the classroom as your students drifted in and out of attention to the ideas you think are so engaging and wondered “why aren’t they as excited about this as I am?”, then read Craig’s chapter (Chapter 10) ” Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor: Lessons from the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning”, by Craig E. Nelson, Indiana University, in the book, To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development, Volume 28, Linda B. Nilson, editor and Judith E. Miller, associate editor. Copyright 2010 by John Wiley & sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Published by Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint 989 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-1741? http://www.josseybass.com
The short version, in two parts, is available from Rick’s email list, which you can subscribe to by following this link: Tomorrow’s Professor
The dysfunctions (a least a few from the chapter) include:
- Dysfunctional illusion of rigor 1. Hard courses weed out weak students. When students fail it is primarily due to inability, weak preparation, or lack of effort.
- Dysfunctional illusion of rigor 2. Traditional methods of instruction offer effective ways of teaching content to undergraduates. Modes that pamper students teach less.
- Dysfunctional illusion of rigor 3. Massive grade inflation is a corruption of standards. Unusually high average grades are the result of faculty giving unjustified grades.
- Dysfunctional illusion of rigor 4. Students should come to us knowing how to read, write, and do essay and multiple-choice questions.
etc. etc… really good stuff.