Friday, May 13, 2005

Writing and teaching are different 

Michael Munger writes about the Johnathan Bean case at Southern Illinois: seems to me there is a difference between what scholars can write (answer: anything, absolutely anything at all) and what they can 'teach' (answer: stick to your subject, keep your political views out of the classroom except as a foil for discussion, never use political conformity as a grading criterion, and consider the impact of readings in terms of their pedagogical effect, not just your own 'good' (meaning selfish) intentions).

He concludes that, if he was Prof. Bean's department chair, he would still support Bean but that Bean had come pretty darn close to crossing the line of what should we teach. It was a mistake, Munger says, but an honest one.

Do chairs often defend their faculty from honest mistakes? Yes.