As the Anthropology Editor in the Higher Education Division at the University of Toronto Press I want to welcome old friends and newcomers alike to our new Teaching Culture blog. We hope this space will become an active online forum for discussing teaching and learning strategies, as well as the kinds of supports they require in today’s undergraduate anthropology classroom.
While the Teaching Culture series currently focuses on publishing ethnographies designed specifically for the undergraduate classroom, we hope this blog can provide an opportunity to: rant, share, proselytize, or criticize anything and everything to do with teaching as well as textbooks.
What are you doing in the classroom? What works and what doesn’t? What role do texts play in your class? What about non-textual resources? How can these different media work together to provide an enhanced learning experience?
Why, you ask, would a university press be involved in a blog about teaching? To be honest, our Higher Education Division is relatively new, having come into being just five years ago in the midst of an emerging open access movement, a backlash against textbook prices, and massive technological change. We tend to take nothing for granted, and since we don’t have deep pockets to invest in expensive technological solutions, we have to think creatively about what we do.
We bring to the table a group of dedicated people with considerable publishing experience, a commitment to producing course texts that support teaching but also make significant scholarly contributions, a stubborn respect for the power of text and the book as a form, and an open attitude to redefining the role that books play in today’s undergraduate classroom. We anticipate discussions that will touch on many different strategies that may have nothing to do with books. Our hope is that in understanding your teaching challenges, we can develop a fresh, relevant, and creative anthropology publishing program to support you and your students.