Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Requiring the Same Textbook for all Instructors?

I made a decision last week (in concert with two other colleagues) that all of us who teach Introduction to Cultural Anthropology would use the same primary text (this is a very theoretically and ethnographically current text, to which individual instructors will add their own readers and/or ethnographies). I used the fact that I am the "course coordinator" for purposes of "assessment" (I can hardly type that word with a straight face) as the impetus for the decision (i.e. this will ensure a certain amount of commonality between courses and material taught). But I think I was really inspired to move in this direction because I/we see it as a way to bring all of our part-timers into the early 21st century. Plus our grad students who serve as teaching assistants will learn more by having to teach this particular text. Now I just wish there was a way we could get the local community college instructors to use it (some of whom are trained in physical or archaeology). I know it's wishful thinking, but then we would be in excellent shape and our upper division courses would be filled with people who have actually been exposed to **contemporary** cultural anthropology (as opposed to some 1980s or earlier version of cultural anthropology/ecology/archaeology). Does the idea of a shared text among all lower-division instructors make you feel queasy?

No comments: