Ask any tenure-stream or tenured faculty member about how well prepared he or she was for entering the academy, and you will get a clear sense of a lack of preparation. One estimate is that only about 50 percent received any training for university teaching. To compound the problem, universities prepare most doctoral students to become researchers. People often take teaching for granted and consider it a task anyone can do. Yet teaching is a complicated, time-consuming responsibility. Fortunately, more studies seek to identify and describe the characteristics of good teaching. We should not see university teaching as a burden or dismiss it too lightly; rather, it lies at the heart of an academic’s work and calling. This essay draws on the author’s personal experience of three decades in the university, arguing that an ethical approach to teaching moves it back to a central position in higher education. An early version of this essay was presented as a lecture at the School of Communication and Information of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.


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pp. 247-261
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