Thursday, January 28, 2010

Academic Bait-and-Switch -- a series

I ran across this series of posts. It was dramatic for what it said about some cultures:


When I was a graduate student, I participated in academic fraud. I didn't plagiarize to get an article published or inflate my CV to get a job. I did something worse. I accepted a teaching assistantship as a doctoral student at Elite National University.

By becoming a TA there, I took on a responsibility for which I had no qualifications: teaching first-year composition courses.


What's more, Dr. Dreedle himself confirmed the lessons underlying the speakers' presentations. One day when a couple of TA's groaned about grading essays while trying to complete their own papers, he said, "If you ever have to choose between your own studies and the freshmen, shortchange the freshmen. They aren't the reason you came to Elite National University."

When the director of the first-year composition program tells his own instructors that they aren't at the university to teach, what more truth could a grad student ask for?

Many good posts

Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 and 5

Also, my nephew R--rk (who had a triple major in physics, math and classical studies) at U.C. Santa Clara remarked on just how sharp the TAs and adjuncts were there. Given he graduated number one in his class and just finished a PhD at MIT, I'd say he was pretty likely to have been correct. Schools differ greatly, not all are as dysfunctional as the one in these essays.