No cooking cutting in my classroom

Posted on July 22nd, 2016

In this commentary from The Chronicle of Higher Education, Rebecca Eggenschwiler, associate professor of English at Montgomery College in Maryland, critiques the view that classes and teaching should be standardized. She argues that efforts to standardize have led to passionless and disengaged teachers and students. As universities increasingly focus on learning analytics and prescriptive pathways to student success, Eggenschwiler emphasizes that education is an interpersonal experience. “Real education and real learning live and breathe in difference, in intangibility, in unpredictability,” she states. “Part of my job in the classroom is being adaptable, adjusting my lessons, my pace, my readings to fit the needs of a specific group of people.” As students have individual needs, professors have different teaching styles based on their personality, expertise, interest, and ideas—this, Eggenschwiler argues, should be embraced. “Nothing is more instructive or transformative for students than working with engaged, passionate, learned people in the classroom. The more different versions of this they encounter, the better.”