Tag Archives: academia

It’s time for the Learning Sciences to embrace queer & trans* theory.

IDK if you knew that I have a PhD in Education. More specifically, my PhD came from a Learning Sciences program, so I’m technically a learning scientist.

I have a very complicated and fraught relationship with the Learning Sciences–a field that has been extraordinarily slow to integrate the concerns of queer and trans* folk, and even slower to integrate queer and trans* theory–frameworks designed explicitly to account for and investigate queer and trans* concerns, experiences, and lives. Imagine being … Read more

advice for newly minted PhDs on the academic job market

I’m on the academic job market. This is my third time on this particular merry-go-round, although the first two times around I didn’t quite feel ready for any sort of tenure-track position. This year, though. This year I felt ready. For the first time, I had a completed dissertation–a project that made me incredibly proud, and still does–and the PhD that goes along with a completed dissertation. I had two years as a post-doc at a well respected research university. … Read more

Ten things I wish I could tell myself in advance of starting graduate school

1. They will want to indoctrinate you into the culture of busy, because for all the talk of how universities are liberal bastions, academia is as neoliberal a profession as they come. (See: Joern Fischer, academia’s obsession with quantity; PhD students and the cult of busy; Janet Choi, how to escape the cult of “busy”.) You’re going to love a lot of what you do in graduate school, and it’s ok to immerse yourself in your … Read more

Academia recruits privilege; privilege leads to arrogance; arrogance leads to entitlement: Some thoughts on the Michael LaCour fraud case

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.34.18 PMMaybe you’ve seen the headlines: Science magazine retracts same-sex marriage and gay canvassers study. (The story was broken on May 20 by the blog Retraction Watch, under the headline author retracts study of changing minds on same-sex marriage after colleague admits data were faked.)

This is bad, people. It turns out this isn’t a case of shoddy record-keeping or inappropriate labeling of images or truth claims that overreach the data. Michael LaCour, the lead researcher on the … Read more

academic conference advice: Navigating social events

Ugh, social events. We’re all in this together, people.

Let’s be real—a super important piece of the AERA Annual Meeting is its social events. Attending business meetings, receptions, and social gatherings offers the following benefits:

  • (re)connect with people who do similar work
  • (re)connect with people who are affiliated with your current or former institution(s)
  • secure free food and/or free drinks

Everybody should go to social events, but I’m talking especially to graduate students here: These events are fantastic ways to Read more

gender bias: (yet) another reason to worry about MOOCs

Image source: http://cogdogblog.com/2012/07/17/mooc-hysertia/

You may have heard that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are going to revolutionize and/or destroy higher education as we know it. A MOOC, in case you need a quick primer, is a free online course, generally offered through a university or through one of a small handful of educational technology companies (Coursera, Udacity, and edX are the most prominent these days). The goal of the MOOC model is to open up education–to make it possible for … Read more

Jenna McWilliams: still not a seminal thinker

Almost three years ago I explained why I hate the words ‘seminal’ and ‘disseminate.’ Here’s the explanation, in brief:

Both words come from the latin root seminalis, or seed, from which we also get the word semen.

Now: seminal, disseminate, semen. All linked to the notion of the seed, the germination of all things that can grow: the sowing of ideas, of genes, of the next generation of people, texts, and theories. The terms, though we may not

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now begins the experiment

I started teaching college students nine years ago, when I was a graduate student in Colorado State University’s Creative Writing program. After I finished up there, I spent a few years as an adjunct instructor teaching almost any class that any university could offer me. Back then, I had little formal training in the theory and practice of teaching. I mostly went by feel, by what felt successful to my students and to me. By “successful,” I mean to … Read more

mike rose, the mind at work and how academics get working-class credibility

This post is about two recent works by Mike Rose, an educational researcher at UCLA who focuses, as he describes it, low-status places–working-class schools, blue-collar job sites, remedial classrooms–places not privileged by society or, frequently, by the institutions in which they are located” (Rose 2012, p. 2). The two works are:

Rose, M. (2004). The Mind at Work: Valuing the intelligence of the American worker. New York: Penguin.

Rose, M. (2012). Rethinking Remedial Education and the Academic-Vocational Divide.

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I sit here crocheting: the (genderqueer) female academic

I’m taking a class this semester called “advanced pedagogy: gender and sexualities.” The class is offered by my university’s Communications and Culture program, and so far it’s less focused on pedagogy than it is on gender and sexualities, which makes it different but not bad.

In fact, the assumptions held by the instructor and students, nearly all of whom have some background in gender studies and/or queer theory, have enabled me to let my hackles settle down … Read more