30 January 2010

Journal Club vs. Ethics Bowl

Study in contrasts yesterday.

We had the first meeting of Journal Club yesterday. A paper had been sent by email earlier in the week, and we moved the time forward a bit to try to make it a bit more friendly to students.

Start time rolls around, and there are six faculty and one student – the one who picked the paper for discussion.

Another student shows up about 10-15 minutes late.

Last semester, when we had a few more students showing up, it was often like trying to pull teeth to get student to venture an opinion.

After Journal Club, I drove down to a coffee shop where there was a meeting of the Ethics Bowl team. Our university placed in the regional competition, and will be competing in the national competition in March.

By the time I got there, there was the team’s coach and about five students involved in animated discussion of the cases. A few more students showed up a later. People occasionally have to be reminded to let the other person talk.

And the score at half-time:

Ethics Bowl, several hundred; Journal Club, nil.

It’s damned depressing. I crave that intellectual back and forth in our department. I’ve tried to encourage it and foster it. And apparently I have earned a great big fail on that count.

1 comment:

LM said...

The journal club I attend runs much better when none of the profs involved can make it. There's just too much intimidation otherwise. Not sure what I can do (if anything) to fix it.