Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Skewing the Statistics

I ran across a great article on what professors post on their doors in academia, and I think we may be an interesting outlier. (Seriously, the article is fun if you're in academia, or were there not long ago.) The author suggests that most posts break down into either humorous or items of serious pedagogical content. He does mention that there are plenty of other items posted:
...including provocative political commentary (protected by the venerable tradition of academic freedom), reproductions of famous works hanging in museums, finger paintings by professorial spawn, and other precious and smarmy visuals that Gasman and Epstein relegate to the lumpen category, "art."

Of course, I'm not sure about some of these distinctions. Are political commentary and reproductions of great art neither pedagogical nor humorous? My own bulletin board includes the articles on cell phone tracking and implanted human ID chips that I mentioned earlier, which I consider essentially educational; perhaps someone else would classify them as political. I also have this cartoon ("Let the kids decide") about creationist nonsense (many thanks to Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education for having this up), which probably qualifies as humorous, educational, and political. But I digress.

Nothing anywhere in the article suggests that he ever ran across a door with the likes of Ooga Booga on it. Of course, if he did I'm sure he assumed it was in the kids finger-painting category and not thought much more about it. Our students tend to assume that. (Also, I have to grant that these are not on a particular persons door, but on the door to our common room we use for testing and which contains the fridge and printer. I'm not sure if that's better or not.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love reading profs doors. Sometimes they're awesome. You all sound demented (like me) so I love it.