The Truth is Powerful
Opinions on Inside Higher Ed
As colleges and universities grapple with both the financial fallout of the pandemic and the overdue recognition of our nation’s long-standing history of racial injustice, especially anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, the question of who should teach is of paramount importance.
In our just-published paper, “Staffing the Higher Education Classroom,” in the Journal of Economic Perspectives , we presented empirical analyses of our own and other scholars that explored whether there is a better way to measure teaching effectiveness than having students fill out course evaluations. We also specifically addressed the following questions: Are charismatic teachers better teachers?
Is there a trade-off between faculty research and teaching excellence?
Does the rise of non-tenure-eligible faculty relative to tenure-line faculty impact student learning?
In what ways do instructor gender, race and ethnicity matter?
We began with the issue of how to measure teaching effectiveness, because a large literature shows that the results of the commonplace practice of students filling out evaluation forms are biased by gender, race and nationality. White American men are often given higher ratings than others, and without objective measures of student learning, it is impossible to evaluate whether those ratings are actually “earned.” Concerns about bias have led the […]