A philosophy professor writes to UD to say that he has long put this excerpt from University Diaries on his syllabi, in order to talk to his students about the importance of real human contact in the classroom:
Where will the discussion in a living, non-online, classroom go? Lots of places. Unexpected places. The professor has a sort of lesson plan, to be sure, but she’s eager to follow the windings of her students’ minds… to let them find truths in their own ways, rather than have those truths pre-packaged. Pre-packaged is efficient, but no real mental activity, no real-time shaping of one’s own thought and discovery of the world on one’s own terms takes place.
The classroom is the drama of the live mind and body in a buzzing world of other minds and bodies, all generating heat and light together in a vaguely known, but also excitingly open and unknown, way.
“It goes in the section,” he writes, “where I’m explaining to my students why in-class attendance and participation are crucial and valuable.”
He wrote to UD because the post has disappeared from her blog (UD took down a bunch of posts a few years ago). UD is writing the post you’re reading now in order to provide a new URL for him to use on his syllabi.