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Topic: Re: Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?
Replies: 7   Last Post: Sep 16, 2013 10:54 AM

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Lars Jensen

Posts: 9
Registered: 1/30/05
Re: Are Tenure Track Professors Better Teachers?
Posted: Sep 15, 2013 5:23 PM
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Hi Phil,

On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 11:00 AM, Phil Mahler
<> wrote:
> I agree with Alain's statement below.
> If there is a conclusion to be drawn from the referenced article it is that when one is allowed to focus on teaching, one teaches better. I believe that is generally true. Of course this study refers to one selective university, but I think the statement is true.
> But the fact that 3/4 of math courses in community colleges are taught by non-full-time faculty is problematic in the areas outside of the classroom: advising, curriculum development, office hours ? . For which I absolutely do not blame these individuals, who, as I said, deliver quality instruction.

How can one possibly make such a general statement without any data to
support it? If the last statement above is correct, then aren't you're
essentially saying that no particular qualifications beyond possibly a
thumbs-up/thumbs-down interview with a department member is necessary
to teach at the community college level? None of us have a degree in
"advising, curriculum development, office hours." Do you really agree
that anyone with a degree remotely related to mathematics can teach
math at the community college level as long as they can "pass" a
thumbs-up/thumbs-down interview with the chair? That people who teach
at a degree issuing institution like a community college don't need a
degree in the field they are teaching in? Most other fields hire
professionals with degrees and licenses. I believe we are
professionals, and that it is essential that we hire folks with solid
degrees in mathematics in order to get the job in the classroom done
well. And I think the current state of math education at the community
college level is a testimony to that. In my opinion, community college
math departments ought to operate on no less that 90%
tenured/tenure-track faculty, mainly filling in positions until a
tenure track faculty can be hired. I wish that our professional
organization AMATYC support a stand like this.

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