The Right to Fail

“Forging that new ground requires extra protection, an assurance that pushing the envelope will not be punished. ‘The great thinkers are also the ones who come up with lots of ideas, many of which fail,’ says Coles. ‘They have earned the right to fail, to have a multitude of ideas.’— Theresa Desmond, The Tenure Trek, Continuum Magazine, Sp 2003.

Although I hadn’t thought of “academic freedom” in this way — as earning, after all those years in school, “the right to fail” — I liked the clarity with which this article not only explained the tenure track system, but also discussed the rationale behind it. There’s also a great little chart that shows the way that academic titles are put together.

Found via an article on Akma’s Random Thoughts on how teachers self-evaluate…which I discovered via Adjunct Nation‘s blog entry on the subject…which I was reading because of a great article I read about the increased reliance on adjunct faculty (up to 50% nationwide) “Fewer professors spend a full day on campus” by Kimberly Chase)…which, I’m ashamed to say, I found by clicking through a banner ad of all things…while reading an article about getting kids to paint cars creatively in art class, featured in the latest issue of Teacher Magazine

Published by

Michael Arnzen

Professor of English, Seton Hill University.