Higher EducationScience

Are English-only PhDs in the Sciences a Problem?

Following the general rule of headlines-posed-as-questions, you can probably guess my answer already: probably not. That said, this recent cri du cœur (ha!) in Vitae deserves a bit more attention than just one sentence, so I’d like to flesh out that ‘probably not’ with a more thorough look at the principal questions raised …

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Higher Education

Those who can teach, those who can’t teach in college

That’s of course an entirely unfair overgeneralisation, but I guess I have your attention now, right? I recently took part in a scientific conference on the latest research in Spanish (more about the content in a different post) and what struck me was the bad quality of some of presentations …

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Higher Education

What’s In A Number (Or Letter)?

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my last two semesters of teaching (my first classroom experience after grad school.) I avoid grading. I look upon it with dread and procrastinate as much as possible. But isn’t that normal? Don’t most instructors hate to grade? I realized it most strongly at …

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Higher Education

Professionalism 101: How never to correspond with students

Earlier today libarienne posted a link to this viral post on vitae, in which a number of (purportedly) real, actual, human professors respond to a fictional request for a grade change with all the high-handed, sneering derision they could fit into a few hundred words. Gilliel’s comment basically hits the nail on …

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Melody Torcolacci file photo
FeaturedHigher EducationScience

Anti-vax “prof” ignites scandal at Queen’s U

This week the Principal and Provost of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario publicly acknowledged student complaints that an instructor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies was promoting anti-vaccine materials in a basic health class. The instructor in question, Melody Torcolacci, is reported to have presented her Health 102 class …

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Higher Education

On the Market II: You in cyberspace

One of the ramifications of the internet age is that “you” as a presence in a variety of databases may actually outlive “you” as a physically present entity. For the job hunter, this raises a quandary – how much of yourself should you reveal on social media such as Facebook …

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Higher Education

On the Market II: Digital Footprints

In the course of my usual social media browsing I came across this article in the Chronicle, which encourages (nay, demands!) that academics take control of their online presence through the creation of a personal website that links to and integrates all of their social media accounts and professional activities. …

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Higher Education

On the Market I: Brown M&M’s

Dan is doing an amazing service by documenting his process (to hopefully a well-deserved and intellectually stimulating tenure-track position). So, I thought I would add a counter-point to his. The view from across the table, as it were. What is it that a job search committee is looking for when …

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Image of a tweed sport coat
Higher Education

On the Market I: Bespoke Courses

This is the first installment of “On the Market,” a series in which Dan chronicles his experiences and observations as a new PhD on the academic job market. It will continue until he gets a job or dies trying. As many of us unfortunately know from experience, applying to tenure-track jobs is …

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EducationHigher Education

Active learning: does depth outweigh breadth?

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.  (attributed to the Greek poet Archilochus) A friend recently sent me to a NY Times article on teaching science in the universities, whose lead-in point was, of course, how often it is done poorly.  The article went on …

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