Book Talk With Jon Zimmerman
Hi all! Johns Hopkins has invited the Graduate Student community to attend a talk with Jon Zimmerman, a professor at U Penn!
The address for the event is:
JHU Homewood Campus | Glass Pavilion, Levering Hall
3400 N Charles St
Levering Hall, Glass Pavilion
Baltimore, MD 21218
*Below is a Description from the JHU eventbrite site. To register, please visit the website here*
About this event
Please join us for a book talk with Jonathan Zimmerman, author of The Amateur Hour: A History of College Teaching in America.
The discussion of this book selection will be moderated by Dr. Mike Reese, Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation at Johns Hopkins University.
Light refreshments will be served and there will be a book sale/signing following the end of the discussion at 4:30pm.
This book talk is intended for interested faculty, staff and grad students of Johns Hopkins University.
Read more about this selection from Johns Hopkins University Press:
The first full-length history of college teaching in the United States from the nineteenth century to the present, this book sheds new light on the ongoing tension between the modern scholarly ideal—scientific, objective, and dispassionate—and the inevitably subjective nature of day-to-day instruction.
American college teaching is in crisis, or so we are told. But we've heard that complaint for the past 150 years, as critics have denounced the poor quality of instruction in undergraduate classrooms. Students daydream in gigantic lecture halls while a professor drones on, or they meet with a teaching assistant for an hour of aimless discussion. The modern university does not reward teaching, so faculty members at every level neglect it in favor of research and publication.
In the first book-length history of American college teaching, Jonathan Zimmerman confirms but also contradicts these perennial complaints. Drawing upon a wide range of previously unexamined sources, The Amateur Hour shows how generations of undergraduates indicted the weak instruction they received. But Zimmerman also chronicles institutional efforts to improve it, especially by making teaching more "personal." As higher education grew into a gigantic industry, he writes, American colleges and universities introduced small-group activities and other reforms designed to counter the anonymity of mass instruction. They also experimented with new technologies like television and computers, which promised to "personalize" teaching by tailoring it to the individual interests and abilities of each student.
But, Zimmerman reveals, the emphasis on the personal inhibited the professionalization of college teaching, which remains, ultimately, an amateur enterprise. The more that Americans treated teaching as a highly personal endeavor, dependent on the idiosyncrasies of the instructor, the less they could develop shared standards for it. Nor have they rigorously documented college instruction, a highly public activity which has taken place mostly in private. Pushing open the classroom door, The Amateur Hour illuminates American college teaching and frames a fresh case for restoring intimate learning communities, especially for America's least privileged students. Anyone who wants to change college teaching will have to start here.