I have thought a lot about what is in my syllabus, but not so much about what is not in my syllabus. I wanted to briefly discuss why my syllabus has no group projects and no exams.
1. The reason for having no group work is a selfish move. I dislike group work. I find group work really stressful. Not only do you have to create material, you also have to coordinate your material with your group. Plus, there is added hassle in managing a time to meet up outside of class. And we all know what happens when someone in the group is not a very hard worker. With that said, I envision a lot of group discussion in my class. Group discussion is more relaxing for students, where they do not seem to be in the spotlight so much. This is especially important when considering the content of my class (I am assuming talking about erotica is a bit more challenging than a few math problems). But, no group work. I just do not see enough positive aspects to incorporate it. I would like to hear your thoughts though, if you disagree!
2. I have no traditional exams in my class. My cousin's professor says that exams are the ultimate examples of the abuses of the elite bourgeois. Sounds about right to me. Moreover, as most students like to cram for exams, I feel that students will be no closer to internalizing the theories discussed in class. But if the students interact with the theories outside of the classroom perhaps the theories will stick more. Plus, in another selfish move, grading exams is boring. Grading sex shop analyzes is fun!
Inferentially I have discussed the syllabus being impacted by what I (do not) want. This gets at bell hooks' argument that to be a healer (teacher), one must care for herself first. I am not sure hooks was talking about whether to have group work in class, but I see some parallels.
Thanks for an inspiring semester everyone! Hopefully I'll be talking with you all in the future.
Is this blog going to stay up for all of eternity?