Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Topic: Communication at the College Level

10-second review: With increasing employment of adjunct faculty at the college level, there is an urgent need for cooperation between the tenured and the adjunct faculty.

Title: “Dual Tracks: Creating Tenurable Teaching Lines.” L. Frost. College composition and Communication (May 2009), A-12-A-16.

Quote: “In a 2008 report to the Teagle Foundation on the Undergraduate Major in Language and Literature released online in February, the Modern Language Association recommends four broad changes to the structure of undergraduate programs in language and literature. It urges the development of:
.a coherent program of study .teamwork among the instructional staff members .interdepartmental cooperative teaching .empirical research to assess the successes and shortcomings of the program.”

Quote: “The key to instituting these changes can be summed up in the report’s insistent focus: the creation of a new model of interaction and cooperation between faculty members. ‘Faculty members rarely work together in the way that we propose and often know little about their colleagues’ course contents and methodologies.’ ”

Quote: “Yet in an interactive world, in the face of an ‘explosion’ of new technologies and disciplinary knowledge, the report argues, ‘The work of curriculum demands collaborative teamwork among faculty members to give the major coherence and structure and administrative support to sustain points of articulation with other fields.”

Comment: It has been 17 years since I last worked as an adjunct instructor in a community college and it would seem from the recommendations in this report that all is the same as it was. Adjuncts are at the lowest rung of the ladder, treated with condescension by the permanent faculty, work in isolation and provide little evidence of coherent programs. Incredible.
Granted, the gist of the recommendations seems to involve working with faculty in other disciplines, but also suggests that the English faculty are just as uncooperative as I found them to be in the community college. RayS.

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