Category Archive: teaching

Why Take Composition Courses?

The brouhaha about automated grading of essay exams came to mind the other day when I was asked, as an English teacher, to comment on whether or not a student might be able… Continue reading

Writing for Yourself

The other day, when I should have been doing something else, I Googled myself.  One of the pages I found was on Writing Skills for a site called Paper Due.  At first, I… Continue reading


Some years ago, I taught a few online courses for one of the for-profit online universities. Afterward, I felt a little sorry for the students, for I didn’t think they were getting their… Continue reading

Try a Little Tenderness

While editing a chapter of the book I’m completing, Beyond the Blogosphere: Information and Its Children (with Robert Leston, for Praeger—making this the third in my ‘blogosphere’ series), I am stewing about writing:… Continue reading

Here We Go Again!

What’s this fascination we’ve got with teachers? Why do we concentrate on them so much, when we talk about education, and on rating them, and so little on learning? There’s an article in… Continue reading

Exploding the Monolith: The Value of Teaching Appalachian Literature in Inner-City Environments

The following is a paper I will be presenting at the Appalachian Studies Association Annual Conference at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio on Friday, March 27. There are, of course, similarities between… Continue reading

"It’s Just Like Watching the Detectives"

A slow learner (to borrow from Thomas Pynchon), only recently have I begun to connect the understanding I have gained over the last decades about movies with my developing practices in teaching. Obtuse,… Continue reading

Why I Teach

[Crossposted from Free Exchange on Campus] When I was in Peace Corps, I taught farmers the rudiments of using oxen for plowing. I did this at an instruction center in the north of… Continue reading

Gaming the System

It’s a huge world out there—even bigger, now that we have the Internet expanding its boundaries and hoarding its history. So vast is it that we all miss things. Nobody, no matter their… Continue reading

Why Do I Teach?

Why do I teach? Because I’m not learn’d, not in the sense of Whitman’s astronomer. I’m more like his listener, who fidgeted: Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,In the… Continue reading