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This is the bleakest assessment of teaching I’ve read in a very long time. I don’t think it’s wholly unwarranted—my own assessement of school-level teaching in particular is equally grim, as I’ve written about lately here and here. But I’m way more optimistic with respect to university-level teaching.

John says:

[T]here is the value problem. Is the information I am sharing and asking students to critically evaluate, really important? Is this stuff they need to know? I often kid myself that it is. I will claim that a subject as apparently dry and boring as contract law is intrinsically fascinating because it raises important questions about trust, freedom, reciprocity, economic value and so on. […]

I could (and frequently do) argue that students are learning the capacity for critical and self-reflective awareness as result of my teaching […] The claim is often made that critical thinking skills are valuable from a social perspective: people with the capacity for critical thought are more discerning consumers of information, better problem solvers, better citizens and so on. But I don’t know how true this is.

Ouch.

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