Even the Comments are Worth Reading

You know how sometimes you read an article and you’re like, “That was a waste of my time.” but you can’t get that time back?

Wouldn’t you like to know before you start reading that the article IS worth your time?

I found one like that this morning. It really got me thinking. In fact, I thought so much, I sent two emails to three people about the comments from the article.

Reading the World: Ideas that Matter, from Bedford St Martin by Michael Austin (2nd edition).

“The department-wide textbook we are using is designed to get the students thinking more critically about a variety of issues using texts from philosophy to sociology to politics. The students will have to write a thought paper (for lack of a better term) exploring an issue of their choosing, informed by both what we discussed in class and what they have read in the textbook and elsewhere.”

–This is an internet friend of mine’s text, description, and blog post about her experience engaging the students using this book and the texts within it.

Then I recommended the text (and the article) for perusal for two core courses at my university.

(I just panicked and thought: “What if that is what we are already using? I will look so dumb.” We’re not. Whew! [cue brow wipe here])

Then I went back to look over the article again and found another comment worth quoting and sending out.

“My students write a weekly paper in which they tie something from real-life to the current chapter, and we discuss it in class. It generally keeps them current, and I never know what they are going to find. As an instructor it keeps me on my toes, but whatever, I need the exercise.”

This reminded me of a friend’s class where she requires the same thing. So I pulled out the sent email and forwarded it to her along with the quote above and an explanation of why I was sending random things from the internet to her.

When the comments are so engaging, don’t you want to read the whole article?

I thought you might.

What Do Your Students Know?

Now I’m wondering how I would find out the answer to the title’s question…

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