Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Higher ed

Michael DeBow calls our attention to this review of Patrick Allitt’s I’m the Teacher, You’re the Student. The reviewer notes that, after reading the book, an account of Allitt’s undergraduate American history course, his continued devotion to teaching seems mysterious.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I suspect that Allitt continues to enjoy teaching because he teaches other courses aside from the American history survey. Freshman-level courses may be the academic equivalent of root canal, but there are always the upper-division courses to help revive our spirits.

May I add that in most survey classes you are teaching about 30% of the students. These are majors in your field, the intellectual curious, and the gifted. The rest are paying the freight so that those 30% can afford to be there. Many of the 70% will be "paying the freight" for the rest of their lives in thankless pointless spiritually empty jobs. Public school and popular culture have prepared them to be drones, colonni in the fields of white collar work. When you are done being angry at them, you pity them and get back to your task of trying to interest as many as you can in the big questions. Teaching is a vocation - vocations are not supposed to be easy.

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