Day: December 3, 2009

Opening Old Wounds

An unusually bitter academic argument of 2000 came up again at the American Anthropological Association annual convention in Philadelphia. At issue was the long and famous (critics would say, notorious) work of Napoleon Chagnon among the Yanomamo Indians of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil and Venezuela. The Yanomomi are not among the most endearing […]

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A Dean Who Can’t Read?

Jean Quam, a professor of social work who is dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, has wholeheartedly defended her school’s proposed “cultural competence” curricular redesign—in an op-ed for the Star-Tribune that provides a glaringly misleading description of the critics’ argument. Most of Quam’s op-ed consists of little more than […]

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Big Is Beautiful

If there’s anything uniting faculty on different sides of the aisle nowadays it’s disapproval of large lecture courses. To the Left, lectures are authoritarian; to the Right, they are lowbrow. Better the egalitarian or members-only atmosphere of the seminar, they say. To anyone who is just “agin’ the guv’ment,” lecture courses suffer the stigma of […]

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