Episode 5 – James Lang on Teaching First-Year Students
In this episode, we feature an interview with James Lang, Associate Professor of English at Assumption College in Massachusetts. Dr. Lang is the author of Life on the Tenure Track: Lessons from the First Year, a memoir chronicling his first year as a faculty member, and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching. He also writes “On Course,” a column on teaching that appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
In the interview, Dr. Lang discusses the idea that undergraduate students can experience some kind of personal transformation during their first year of college. Is transformation a reasonable goal for first-year students? If not, what is a reasonable goal? What are some conditions that facilitate these types of goals? What are conditions that inhibit them?
[MP3, 24 min 15 sec]
- “The Myth of First-Year Enlightenment” by James Lang
- The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School by Tim Clydesdale
- “William Perry’s Scheme of Intellectual and Ethical Development” by William Rapaport
- The Commons, Vanderbilt’s First-Year Experience
If you have any comments on Dr. Lang’s thoughts about first-year experiences, we encourage you to leave a comment here. Vanderbilt instructors are also welcome to call the Center for Teaching at 322-7290 to arrange a meeting with a CFT teaching consultant to discuss teaching first-year students.