Editors' Introduction: The Bottom Line

Editors' Introduction: The Bottom Line It seems that everywhere one looks these days, the debate over the “crisis in the humanities” is raging unabated. The profession, as all our readers have undoubtedly noticed, is in a full-on identity crisis: Who are we as a discipline? What is our work? Who do we serve? What values undergird our practice? These perennial questions and others are more insistent than ever, especially as they intersect with the economic issues that dominate higher education today. For example, in a twist on recent discussions of the cost of higher education, Bill Sams (2010), Executive in Residence at Ohio University, wrote in a letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education that college students need to behave more like customers. For Sams, the focus is on the “failed service” of the teacher (a.k.a. the “service provider”) and the implied lunacy of students (a.k.a. the “customers”) to put up with such “failure.” Accordingly, he argues: A student is a person to whom something is done (the student is taught); a customer is a person for whom something is done (a customer is provided a learning experience). Students take it as a given that they are acted upon and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Duke University Press

Editors' Introduction: The Bottom Line

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, Volume 11 (1) – Jan 1, 2011

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2011 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1531-4200
eISSN
1533-6255
DOI
10.1215/15314200-2010-011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It seems that everywhere one looks these days, the debate over the “crisis in the humanities” is raging unabated. The profession, as all our readers have undoubtedly noticed, is in a full-on identity crisis: Who are we as a discipline? What is our work? Who do we serve? What values undergird our practice? These perennial questions and others are more insistent than ever, especially as they intersect with the economic issues that dominate higher education today. For example, in a twist on recent discussions of the cost of higher education, Bill Sams (2010), Executive in Residence at Ohio University, wrote in a letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education that college students need to behave more like customers. For Sams, the focus is on the “failed service” of the teacher (a.k.a. the “service provider”) and the implied lunacy of students (a.k.a. the “customers”) to put up with such “failure.” Accordingly, he argues: A student is a person to whom something is done (the student is taught); a customer is a person for whom something is done (a customer is provided a learning experience). Students take it as a given that they are acted upon and

Journal

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and CultureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2011

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