Prickly Paradigm #50
Community of Scholars, Community of Teachers
Academics routinely engage with colleagues in the research community as a critical part of their work. But, although many researchers are also dedicated teachers, teaching tends to be seen as a private matter between a teacher and his or her students. But why shouldn’t faculty members feel a similar impulse to be aware of what their colleagues are doing in the area of teaching? What do we miss when the conversation, especially at major research universities, is focused almost exclusively on research?
In this revised and expanded collection of essays, Judith Shapiro, former president of Barnard College, issues an impassioned clarion call for a renewed focus on the role of community in teaching. When faculty members feel that they are not only a community of scholars, but also a community of teachers, teaching becomes more engaging for both students and teachers. Encouraging high-quality conversation about the pedagogical approaches that have proven most effective also puts the contributions of virtual, online communication into proper perspective and brings into clearer focus the advantages of a liberal arts education. With an argument that is controversial and sure to spark discussion and debate, Community of Scholars, Community of Teachers shows how higher education can become even more of a true community.