Monday, August 15, 2005
Honors, Plums, and Unintended Consequences
As it is now, the program at my cc relies on specific sections with smaller sizes, so the faculty see honors classes as plums – better students, less grading. If a kid going for honors simply meant still more papers to plow through, would the faculty be more hesitant? (Would the plum become a prune?) Note to the folks at schools with programs set up this way – does faculty buy-in become a problem?
(The alternative is even worse. Imagine if we paid a stipend for each honors student, to compensate for the extra work. The grade inflation would set records!)
On a related note, how much extra work does it take to earn an honors designation? If there’s tremendous variation from section to section, the integrity of the designation could come into question. How is this handled across multiple sections of the same class?
Inquiring deans want to know...
The sooner higher education moves the focus away from the faculty and toward the students, the sooner our craft will be valued and supported in this society. It is vital that we become learning centered, rather than teaching centered.
I'm interested to see how this pans out for you. Thanks for making this discussion public.
Again, I teach at the other end of things, so I may not be the person to talk to, but our coordinator , DeeDee Aleccia, is a wonderful person to contact.