In the Salon article Confessions of a Bad Teacher , John Owen talks about spending a year teaching in NYC public schools. While I do find some of his teaching methods sorta questionable, I'm also willing to cut him some slack 'cause I've done some strange things in the name of trying to get very bored students interested in something they don't much care about. What stood out most for me though was this line:

My corporate career had been data-intensive, but nothing like a school system based on covering your ass.

'cause at the college level, it feels like mediocrity is almost encouraged unless a student complains -then all of a sudden it's "do things X, Y, Z" just make 'em go away seems to be the driving motto. Neither the validity of the complaint or whether Z is really better from a pedagogical point of view often seem to be taken into account all that much...

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