Introduction to the Major

Dr. Crazy writes about the English majors intro course she teaches.

I’m feeling pretty good about things. First, it’s so exciting to teach a class that is populated only with majors and to give them a better sense of what it actually means to major in English (because, as I suppose isn’t too surprising, most of them don’t have much of a clue.) Second, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to think about the discipline and to reflect on it, something I don’t think most of us have the opportunity to do very frequently.

She talks about reservations and then says she will comment after the comments are in.

Dr. Pion writes about the physics/engineering intro class.

Technically, there is another course that physics majors take that is actually the start of the major program, but students won’t take it if they don’t like the view of physics they get in the class I teach! Once physics departments figured out that they were losing future majors to engineering (where you can also make a living), they put more emphasis on having their best teachers in the intro class and trying to make it more engaging and hands-on … within the limits of a 200 student lecture hall.

No, most of those students are wannabe engineers and that fact is why calc-based physics devolved into a service course that often discouraged potential physics majors along with potential engineering majors.

Now my classes are not that big. Not even close. Furthermore, I rarely saw a self-identified physics major until recently so I view most of my students as engineering majors and teach the class with that in mind. The result is that I might actually be teaching an into to engineering course! I need to think about that this weekend to get ready for next week.

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