Monday, December 29, 2008
From today's Inside Higher Ed: The Teaching Paradox, by Scott Jaschik:
A new survey of faculty members in English and foreign languages will challenge some assumptions about how and why women and men are not promoted at the same levels or feel the same satisfaction in academe.
The Modern Language Association has yet to release its “associate professor survey,” which, notwithstanding its name, included both associate and full professors. But professors involved in the report, due out soon, revealed some of the key findings Sunday at the MLA’s annual meeting: ...
- Women work an average of 1.5 hours more per week than do men on grading student work.
- Men work an average of 2 hours more per week on research ...
Many women reported feeling hostility from many of their colleagues and a lack of support in research, even as many departments value it over teaching. This raises the potentially troubling question, she said, of whether women value teaching for the “magic” of the classroom or because “teaching can be a kind of refuge” in that the classroom is the place where women (and men) have the most control over their professional decisions. ...
Joycelyn K. Moody, the Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said that what most troubled her about the responses was that women reported feeling shame about their interest and success in teaching. Women should be feeling pride in their success as teachers, she said, but are “perceiving themselves as performing below expectations,” because they aren’t doing more research. It’s time to “dismantle those institutional values,” Moody said, so that the shame disappears.
Moody also said that the survey results will show how some discussions that have been going on for years in higher education have missed a key element: gender. She noted that Ernest L. Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered in 1990 “paid no particular respect to gender,” even as it called for shifting the reward system in higher education to value research on teaching and to see curricular work as contributing to scholarship. To talk about “free floating anxiety” about the relative value of scholarship vs. teaching, without considering gender, she said, missed a key point.