Commentaries - April 2008

Teaching artificial simplicity

I've been reading the blog of a former student and now someone prominent in marketing (his field is "persuasion").

Form(ulas) can be democratic

Gerald Graff is now arguing for a pedagogical formalism. What is apparently a counter-intuitive argument is — to my mind anyway — consistent with his advocacy of meta-pedagogy, a teaching of subject matter that is always in some sense about the teaching (the form of the teaching), such that "content" matters less than one might think under the liberal rubric of "teach the conflicts." In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, Graff and a colleague argue in favor of "formulaic" teaching. Here's a paragraph: