Monday, December 3, 2007

Our Curriculum Is Changing Without Us

The Yeshiva College Curriculum Review is happening as we speak. Not too many students seem to care, as evidenced by the empty room in which Dean Joanne Jacobson presented on the subject 2 months ago. There are, I think, 2 reasons for this: Apathy and Hopelessness. The apathetic don't care because they just don't care; the hopeless don't care because they have discovered that caring doesn't matter. Well, I care. So I wrote up a document which I sent around to various faculty members and administrators. Overall, I have received very, very positive feedback. This should serve, I hope, to brighten the hopes of the currently hopeless. As for the apathetic, I hope they go to Touro.

The whole document can be read here. I will post several updated ideas from it in the weeks to come, based on feedback I still am receiving.

If you agree or disagree, write about it at The YU Vent. The future of the Yeshiva College Curriculum Review should not be left in the hands of the apathetic.


Anonymous said...

Many of the problems you describe are not unique to YC, especially regarding organization issues within departments and non-curriculum-specific difficulties. Nonetheless I think your proposed solutions to those and the (mostly Judaism-related) YC-specific problems are well formed and sensible. It shows that you care about the future of YC, its reputation, and its products. I hope your paper is read and appreciated by the administration.

Anonymous said...

I can't say I disagree with all the points you make in this article, but I do disagree with a number of them, including the first. You assume that every piece of "madda" needs to be infused with "Torah," which is only one way to understand Torah UMadda. See Dr. Belkin's investiture address (available in the library - you can find it on YULIS) for another model.

Noah said...

Anonymous #1:

As Julian pointed out, the fact that other schools have YU's problems shouldn't be an arguing point.

Thanks very much for your thoughts and encouragement. I hope you will continue to read and enjoy THE YU VENT (and participate further). :)

Anonymous #2:

Thanks for the recommendation for the Belkin address.

But I certainly do not think that any piece of Madda needs to be infused with Torah.

My notion of Jewish-studied professor is to compliment the pedagogy and inter-personal relationships at YU, not the Torah content of secular courses. My premise is that knowledge of students' culture(s) will help professors teach better to those very students.

Thanks for your thoughts!