Fall 2015: Kick-off

It’s the end of the last Friday of the summer break. Outside my office window, the streets are clogged with parental cars disgorging the class of 2019.

At this time of year, I always ponder what I am doing well on the course, and what needs improving.  Prompted by one of my memos to self from last year, and subsequent discussions with Larkin Hood from the Schreyer Teaching Institute, I have spent some of the week thinking about the rare but important problems in past years of plagiarism, integrity failure, and whispering in class. I recently learned that there are people that research undergraduate classroom behavior, and one of them thinks (p.470) that controlling for everything else, classroom incivility (the technical term for bad student behavior) is worst in classes – get this – that have non-majors enrolled to meet graduation requirements in which the teacher is trying to infuse the class with conceptual material and attempts to teach critical thinking.

Oh my.

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