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    indigo Offline OP
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    There has been much news coverage regarding the petition to remove NYU Organic Chemistry professor Maitland Jones.

    https://www.chemistryworld.com/news...organic-chemistry-course/4016354.article

    When scheduling courses understood to be particularly difficult, I've known students to prep by purchasing a textbook in advance and previewing the material.
    https://www.amazon.com/Organic-Chemistry-Fifth-Maitland-Jones-dp-0393124231/dp/0393124231/

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    Nobody forces tertiary level students to select any particular subject. If they aren’t capable of understanding the material sufficiently to pass, they should have dropped the subject. It’s a shame that someone who has given and achieved so much in his field should be so unceremoniously cut off because, as it seems, many Gen Z are struggling with academic independence after being spoon fed through school by tutors and academic coaching.

    I used to be a Uni guest lecturer and when student appraisals were introduced, I thought that the feedback reflected just as much about the students as the lecturer. For the same lecture, I got maximum scores from a handful of students and one comment that read ‘brilliant woman - the most I’ve ever learnt in one lecture’, to a student who gave me the minimum possible score and the comment ‘completely lost me at the start’. Luckily, my job security has nothing to do with teaching, although after that, I have put great effort into scaffolding all my presentations.

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    I wasn’t sure who the terms ‘contenders’ and ‘pretenders’ are referencing, but I do think that the administrative drive to replace tenured staff with guest lecturers is shortsighted. Administration staff seem only concerned about filling timetables and have no insight about the actual process of learning and even in my limited experience, I have a tale of woe. After giving the same lecture each year to third year Uni students as originally agreed, someone in Uni admin slotted me to give it to first year students instead, without advising me of this change. There’s a lot of assumed knowledge, so it was simply unsuitable for first years, but all I received for each lecture was an invite & then confirmation of the time, venue and topic title of my presentation. I am now wiser about these various aspects of lecture delivery but from my tiny insight into how these institutions operate, I have a bad feeling about this event at NYU.

    BTW, I no longer give lectures at Uni. Eventually, they wanted to upload my presentations so that students could access them and I was happy with that, but I couldn’t do so because I didn’t have an electronic ID which they found puzzling... then the penny dropped for me that an ex boss of mine holds an academic title there but rarely gave lectures, so I guess I had been co-opted to fill in someone else’s teaching obligations. The Uni couldn’t find a way around their own admin process, other than also formally contracting me and giving me a title, so I used it as an opportunity to politely bow out. I’m still involved with teaching but it’s mainly under the banner of CPE/CPD.

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    indigo Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by Eagle Mum
    ... who the terms ‘contenders’ and ‘pretenders’ are referencing...
    Not sure where/when the rhyming expression began, but it was a reference to students who have the drive and are willing to sacrifice to learn difficult concepts and material... and students whose primary interest may be boasting of taking a certain course of study (such as pre-med) in order to look good to others and are not deeply dedicated to learning the tough stuff.

    The distinction expressed in that phrase ties in with the strategy some students use: previewing one or more texts in the subject matter before the class begins, in order to familiarize themselves with vocabulary, concepts, and material.

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    Thanks Indigo.


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