#ShitSeniorFacultySays: “We MUST get more majors! But how?!?!??”
#ShitSeniorFacultyAlsoSays: “Me, teach the survey course? You MUST be joking. Get an adjunct to do it.”
So. Semi-related Q based on the excellent comment thread from the post below this one:
Am I the only person who actually likes teaching survey courses? I even kind of love teaching survey courses (as long as the pay is OK). Like, I see it as a privilege to get to share just a tiny dip of all the things I love the most with people who will never get a chance to know those things otherwise. I like to take their little moment in my world and just jump down that moment’s throat.
For 100% serious, I would be happy teaching nothing but survey courses for the rest of my life. Why all the hating on survey courses, and why all the privileging of upper-division major courses?
Why are survey courses seen as a punishment worthy of only adjuncts or unlucky junior TT faculty at a school that is still decent enough to employ mostly TT faculty? I think I know the answer to this, but I want to leave it open for discussion. I’ve talked about this before: Survey courses are the public face of every department. They are every department’s chance to reach as many students as possible. They are the first and often last impression of that department in the wider university. And they matter. And they can–and are often–interesting and fun. And to do them right, they’re not even “easy.” So why, again, the survey-course scorn?