Category: Teaching

What Is Conservative?: A Review of Why Higher Education Should Have a Leftist Bias

Why Higher Education Should Have a Leftist Bias by Donald Lazere 235 pp. Palgrave Macmillan.  $95.00 Political labels can be funny things.  I know I’m an odd bird in this respect, but I actually welcome people’s labelling me politically, largely so that I can figure out myself where my place is in various political ecosystems. …

Christian Humanist Profiles 17: Building a Better Teacher

Democracy, as a way of life, requires that the citizens of the democracy share an education in common, a set of stories and aptitudes and even experiences from which we can draw so that there’s an “us” there to govern. Thus the education of the citizenry is always a live question, and to pursue that…

My Colleague J.R.R. Tolkien: A Review of Tolkien’s Beowulf Translation

Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien 425 pp. Houghton MIfflin Harcourt. $28.00 There’s a special kind of joy that fills the air when a group of people, who share a certain sort of niche interest, get exciting news about their common niche.  Such are the moments that make me…

What if Teaching Is a Science? A Bit of Conceptual Fiddling

I see the formulation all the time,  but I rarely give it much thought. “Teaching isn’t a science.  It’s an art.” “Teaching isn’t a science.  It’s a craft.” “Teaching isn’t a science.  It’s a calling.” I’m sure there are other variations on the second half of the couplet, but the first half almost always denies…

Am I Interdisciplinary?

Students had been saying it for years, but it wasn’t until this semester that I started wondering what it really means when students say I’m not a “real” English professor.  Most don’t mean it as a bad thing; they seem rather to enjoy the break, when they prepare for and attend my classes, from what they…

Telos and Teaching: A Review of What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain

What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain Harvard University Press.  190 pp. Among Alasdair MacIntyre’s more famous claims is that every ethics presumes a sociology.  Philosophies of human action do not rise out of nowhere; they’re systematic reflections that arise out of particular forms of life, whether those forms be the Athenian polis,…

Freshman Composition, Service Learning, and Required Chapel

Some time ago (too long, really), our friend Todd Pedlar sent along a link to an interesting article about recent trends in Freshman Composition, “Look What Freshman Composition Has Become.”  I took a look at the time but didn’t respond to it on Facebook (where Todd sent the link) largely because the essay takes on…

Memory, Theory, English Departments, and Christian Education

Professing Literature: An Institutional History by Gerald Graff Theologia: The Fragmentation and Unity of Theological Education by Edward Farley I’m not sure how other folks entered into self-awareness of their places within their professions, but for me, the way into the college English department, then into the seminary, then back through the English department on…

The Christian Feminist Podcast, Episode 6.1: Christian Feminist Parenting

Note: This is our first transcontinental podcast, and there’s some noise and feedback we couldn’t get rid of. Thanks for sticking with us! Introductions Congratulations Shelah and Shawn! A little bit about parenting and families Knowing What is Christian Feminist Parenting? Intentional parenting: direct instruction and modeling Context and nuance Compassion and assuming the best…

The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #114: Meno

General Introduction – Listener feedback – Episodes on Borges and Postman? Arête – Excellence and/or virtue – Warriors and excellences – Plato’s expansion of arête – Confucian virtue – Arête and social station – Excellence in tragedy – Meno’s definition – Answering the question carefully Why Ask the Question? – The urge to categorize –…

What’s in a Space?

At a faculty-development last week at Emmanuel College, my friend and colleague Tracy Reynolds, said, in passing, that when he meets with students, he prefers to go somewhere other than his office, that the encounter across the top of his desk was “sterile.” That got me thinking (as such things tend to do), and I…

Old English, Programming, and the Liberal Arts

Learn to Code 1: Does Everybody Really Need to Program? Learn to Code 2: The Many Reasons We Must Program (and the Few Why Not) It’s easy to forget, if I don’t remind myself, how happy my professional life is.  I spend my working days reading interesting books, having conversations about those books with intelligent…

News for the Fall Semester

We’ve got a couple big announcements this afternoon for our Christian Humanist Podcast listeners. First, we’ve got a guest host to help keep Michial and Nathan in line while David wraps up the dissertation.  Our readers might remember Danny Anderson, Assistant Professor of English at Emmanuel College, who wrote a recent guest post on Philip…

Scholarship that Starts with Conviction: Some Thoughts on the Adjective "Academic"

Every community’s complex practices require the process of tradition, what Alasdair Macintyre helpfully identified as the ongoing debate about what it means to practice what the community practices and to belong to the community as such a practitioner.  Literary critics constantly debate one another concerning whether criticism belongs to the realm of the political, remains…