No more STS papers in STS classes?

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In the US, assigning papers seems like its on the way out. Here is why.

So, no more STS papers in my STS courses (?) … seems somehow a little sad.

Still, one solution the author proposes is that we, as faculty, engage the students in more oral exams and more “hard core” (whatever that means) written exams. This is bothering me.

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This entry was posted in Teaching, The Profession, Uncategorized by Nicholas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Nicholas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Penn State, Nicholas mainly writes about understanding the scientific study of states and, thus, it is namely about state theory. Given his training in sociology and STS, he takes a decidedly STS-oriented approach to state theory and issues of governance.

6 thoughts on “No more STS papers in STS classes?

  1. well after reading assignments of over say 10 pages was out writing was surely next, perhaps the gig is up?
    I’m constantly perplexed by the idea of the “flipped” class when teachers can’t get students to the do the current ‘homework’ assignments.

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    • Totally in agreement. I am not entirely sure of the cause, however. There are probably many reasons, but I think the most obvious (and most parsimonious) is that there is no “trade value” for students, meaning, they do not see writing as something they will be rewarded for in the future, and, thus, do not work to develop this skill. After all, given that the most common thing to do after graduation is be unemployed, perhaps they are right … OR perhaps they are dead-wrong because it was their lack of seriousness during their college training that results in their inability to find a job because they are skill-less.

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      • I saw that this trend was well in the works before the econ-crash and find it hard to imagine that students by and large are that future oriented, not quite sure why they stopped feeling like they had to please faculty (babyboomer parenting?) but think that faculty by and large long ago gave in to the customer is always right attitude from student “retention” minded administrators as witnessed by grade inflation and such. I know that businesses were really struggling to get them motivated as employees but with the shrinking job pool I’m sure they are skimming off the willing and able, all others will surely sink, too bad they don’t get that message first from folks in higher-ed but who will turn away their money?
        will be interesting to see how pay-for-performance federal loans will play into this…

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        • Oh, well, that is a good point, students are less future oriented than I presumed. Fair enough. Administration taking-over is a good point too; however, the “student is always right” has an important wedge, and that wedge takes the form of student evaluations (and, specifically, that administrators might use them as viable assessments of teaching, as if students know/knew what good teaching looked like).

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      • yeah what are the criterion/standards for student as evaluators (not unlike questions of what training do academics get as teachers, administrators, reviewers, etc), I assume they are customer/product satisfaction surveys which is dismal if true but what alternatives did faculty really ever offer up?

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