Film Studies Pedagogy
Earlier today, via Twitter, I had an exchange with an acquaintance who had had a very bad teaching day. From what I deduced by our exchange (and this is one of those “Twitter friends” who one only knows through the site – I don’t even know their real name), this was either an ABD or newly awarded PhD who found themselves in the much-too-common position of starting their careers doing sessional/per-course/hourly paid lecturing positions at a variety of educational institutions to try and make something resembling a living wage. I didn’t have any advice for this person, although I did offer to put him/her in touch with my father-in-law who is something of an expert in HE/FE staff development.
It then occurred to me that I know a number of new PhDs and doctoral students finishing up their degrees about to enter this horrid job market. I’m sure I’m not alone in being disappointed with the “staff development” assistance most universities offer – those programmes/offices are usually pretty cash-strapped and overly dominated by science people who have little experience with teaching in the Humanities, let alone in film studies. Staff-development offices and staff, to give them their due, need to address a wide-range of teaching experiences/contexts and they couldn’t possibly know all of the issues which effect subjects like ours.
I’m certainly not setting myself up as any kind of pedagogical expert or guru for new PhDs in film studies pedagogy; quite the opposite in fact. I’m always more than happy to share my own experiences of what works and what doesn’t. And in that context, most often what I find works is at odds with the “prevailing wisdom” of the Quality Assurance mavens and staff-development folk. And don’t even get me started on “Peer Observation” approaches! I hate to admit how “traditional” my approach to teaching is, but it is what most students seem to respond to.
I may not be an expert in this field, but I have a number of friends, acquaintances and colleagues who, I’m sure, collectively could be useful to new academics. Share our wisdom and experience. It’s even possible we could all learn some new tricks, old dogs though we may be. To repeat, I’m not an expert in film studies pedagogy, but I do want to host this discussion.
Hence this blog.
So, friends, colleagues, relations, acquaintances: who’s with me?
- What is Culturally Responsive Pedagogy? (drmattlynch.com)