Category: Beautiful Questions

Expertise: Lore or Allure?

by: Cara Meixner As faculty, each of us cultivates an area of expertise. Specialists in a field or fields of inquiry, we are paid, promoted, and (too often) critiqued for knowing a lot about a little. The very process of earning a PhD exacerbates this status, and it isn’t uncommon for the “freshly-minted” varietal to …

Continue reading

Talking Chicken and Critical Pedagogy of Place

by: Ed Brantmeier Where do I come from? Since moving to Harrisonburg from the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, where the Big Thompson River provides water for Loveland and fly-rod fishing flourishes, I’ve quickly learned to talk chicken here in the lush Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Growing up in rural Wisconsin on an 80 acre …

Continue reading

Disposable Science

by: Carol Hurney One of the most beautiful aspects of my discipline is the process of critically analyzing the scientific method.  Yes, the scientific method.  Wait, wait!  Don’t run away from this article screaming – OH NO!!!! NOT THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD??!?!  Just relax.  And why would you want to avoid a probing analysis of the …

Continue reading

Mindful Teaching: Being in the Thick of Things

by: Ed Brantmeier Recently, I read some work of Parker Palmer where he asked the question, “Are you a human being or a human doing? In talking with a James Madison University colleague, Dave Pruett, he suggested that this theme was the heart of his recent graduation speech here. Dave suggested the challenge was being …

Continue reading

Who’s Hiding in Your Teaching Philosophy?

by: Cara Meixner Please submit your teaching statement. The above phrase evokes multiple thoughts and emotions.  To some, the mere thought of drafting, writing, and revising a teaching philosophy arouses a state of near panic.  Others may find this act reflective, insight-laden, or – dare I say – exhilarating.  Regardless of how we feel, most …

Continue reading

Disciplinary Beauty

by: Carol Hurney Recently one of my closest friends described one of her dreams to me.  In this dream, my friend found herself in a large dining room, rustic yet stunningly beautiful.  Although it was unclear why she was in this dining room, she was clear that this space was beautiful and in stark contrast …

Continue reading