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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Clueless in Academe by Gerald Graff. Our schools and colleges often make the intellectual life seem more impenetrable, narrowly specialized, and inaccessible than it is or needs to be, argues this eminent scholar and educator, whose provocative book offers a wealth of practical suggestions for making the culture of ideas and arguments more readily understandable.
In the wake of theory, in the wake of feminism, post-colonial criticism and all the rest, what is a liberal arts education supposed to be about? How should teachers teach? What should students learn? Intelligently, humanely, Gerald Graff is bringing all of these questions back home to the classroom, which, at least for now, seems exactly where they belong. A worthwhile work. The reader chuckles in recognition over the tales told of scholars and students. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title.
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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 17, John rated it liked it. Gerald Graff, a professor English and education at the University of Illinois-Chicago, takes universities to task for the gulf between students and teachers. Specialty areas of university professors strike too many students as a distant, impregnable fortress. This is not helped by the way classes are taught and students are treated.
Very few leave their university years with an understanding of the intellectual life. Graff argues that we must do a better job stimulating student interest in the th Gerald Graff, a professor English and education at the University of Illinois-Chicago, takes universities to task for the gulf between students and teachers.
Graff argues that we must do a better job stimulating student interest in the things intellectual. One way to do this is by embracing debate and argument, rather than avoiding them in the interests of feeling good or upholding self-esteem.
Young people naturally debate the merits of all sorts of things, from sports to popular culture. This approach needed to be cultivated rather than avoided. Graff makes some good points, in a curmudgeonly way. However, much of what he writes as he diagnoses the dilemmas of university life comes off as shrill. The best parts of the book are not his diagnoses, but rather his solutions.
There are some fine ideas about how to teach at both the university and the high school level. Nov 01, Bryan Kibbe rated it it was amazing.
This is a book that I would recommend to any present students training to be educators and also to any practiced educators that still seek to innovate and grow in their pedagogical methods. I especially enjoyed the book for its clear writing, sustained arguments, and self-consciousness. On the point of self-consciousness, Graff does an excellent job of not only arguing for a particular style of pedagogy that introduces students to past and present academic conversations, but also of trying to ex This is a book that I would recommend to any present students training to be educators and also to any practiced educators that still seek to innovate and grow in their pedagogical methods.
On the point of self-consciousness, Graff does an excellent job of not only arguing for a particular style of pedagogy that introduces students to past and present academic conversations, but also of trying to exemplify that method in his own writing. As such Graff not only advances a thesis, but also establishes a laboratory within the pages of the book by which to test his ideas. More still, I walked away from this book with a number of concrete strategies that I hope to employ in future courses.
Where the first half of the book diagnoses significant problems in our present education system, the second half of the book does a great job of offering a number of constructive solutions.
The result is a well balanced, accessible, and compelling book. View 1 comment. Dec 13, Karen rated it really liked it. As I was describing my teaching philosophy to someone, he asked me if I had ever read Gerald Graff because my philosophy sounded a lot like what Graff had written.
I had not, so I picked up this book and he was right. I'm going to have to think more through what I read but I think that there are quite a few good ideas in this book that I can use to help flesh out my philosophy even more. Sep 17, Stephanie Odom-robertson rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: any graduate student. Also, how English teachers are weird and what other people think of us, and how to let your students in on academic discourse. Sep 14, Lisa rated it liked it.
Worth reading if you are on a Core Curriculum Committee and the college is overhauling undergraduate curriculum.
Jul 18, Lauren rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone. Shelves: contemporarynonfiction. This wasn't exactly my idea of light summer reading. Save it for the schoolyear if you're a teacher or student. It's very dense with ideas. I wish all undergraduates could read this. This book kind of tells them their rights as students. Who would I recommend it to? Anyone who is a teacher, or anyone working on a Ph. It would be good for high school teachers to read because it will help illustrate what they're preparing their students for.
I liked how the last chapter is about embracing the fact that no one will ever agree on everything, and it's in the disagreeing that students can find their voices and realize the intellectuals hidden within them. But really, I'd recommend this book to anyone. It's not just for the bookish or the erudite.
That's the whole point that Gerald Graff makes in the book. Education itself is not for the bookish or the erudite, it's for everyone and too often, intellectualism, one person's idea of what intellectualism should be such as a professor's , will scare off the students instead of inviting them to become intellectuals themselves.
Ooh, also the chapter about application essays is golden. It reveals a lot of secrets about how admissions offices really view essays. It reveals secrets about that topic that I haven't seen anywhere else.
For example, he says that even if an essay is well-written, cerebral, and on an esoteric topic, Graff says that the student won't get accepted because they didn't let the essay speak for them as a human being. The book is also very well-written and very well-focused. I don't think there's one glib sentence in the whole book. It was constantly stimulating and taught me so much. It was like a whole semester in one book. I could go on and on about this, but I'll just say that I recommend this to everyone.
Feb 23, James rated it really liked it. A book for those interested in "the life of the mind", Graff makes solid and lasting arguments for the importance of a culture of informed arguments, liberal arts education, and the risk of "silos" in Education. While not without flaw - anyone read in educational theory or the like may wonder about his thoughts on emotional intelligence, which he mentions once, but which studies increasingly link to educational success not only with grades, but also with true educational growth.
Still, Graff is A book for those interested in "the life of the mind", Graff makes solid and lasting arguments for the importance of a culture of informed arguments, liberal arts education, and the risk of "silos" in Education.
Still, Graff is not writing a book meant to build in all the answers, but rather a book that starts the conversation - why is there a sense of division between the student and the professor which makes education as a field seem isolated, insular, and unobtainable - in a culture where diverse crowds often experience "impostor syndrome" or find that the field seems too obscured or esoteric to admit them as members, what needs to happen in education?
This is what Graff addresses and, if he does not resolve it completely, he does start an informed argument that is proof that he does have merit in his point of view.
The education found in skilled argument does extend beyond just one field, so there is strength to this argument and I would recommend that anyone interested in education read this book in some detail as an idea of the challenges in modern education as a field and the realities or perception of the realities in current college education.
This was technically my second reading of this book, but I read it once as a graduate student and opted to read it anew as I approach the end of my doctoral work and found, as I myself struggle with elements of impostor syndrome, that this book still has merit after years of study in higher education.
I do recommend it as an important work, regardless of your view on Graff's accuracy, as it will at least inform you on the perception of higher education from different views.
Clueless in Academe: An Interview with Gerald Graff
A common scene: In class, I ask for a student to summarize the argument of a newspaper editorial, and in return, I get only slack-jawed stares, or worse yet, the summary is simply wrong. What is wrong with them? I wonder. I ask.
Clueless in Academe
Learn more about the actions Yale University Press is taking. Graff provides a persuasive analysis of the ways that academic discourse alienates students from joining in the conversation, and offers several perspectives on how to teach students to think critically and communicate effectively in academe. In a sense, he takes the reader on a journey behind the veil of academic life, revealing some raw and contested views on academic thinking, writing and teaching. Skip to main content.
Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind
Gerald Graff. An eminent scholar and educator looks at the academic world from a crucial perspective for teachers--the perspective of those who don't get it Gerald Graff argues that our schools and colleges make the intellectual life seem more opaque, narrowly specialized, and beyond normal learning capacities than it is or needs to be. Left clueless in the academic world, many students view the life of the mind as a secret society for which only an elite few qualify. In a refreshing departure from standard diatribes against academia, Graff shows how academic unintelligibility is unwittingly reinforced not only by academic jargon and obscure writing, but by the disconnection of the curriculum and the failure to exploit the many connections between academia and popular culture.