Sunday February 19, 2017

The Slow Professor movement: reclaiming the intellectual life of the university

A student walks through Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts November 16, 2012.

A student walks through Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts November 16, 2012. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

Listen 30:08

You have heard of the slow food movement...now, there's a "slow professor" movement.

Two university professors say they feel time-crunched, exhausted and demoralised. They say they are being asked to be more efficient at the expense of more thoughtful teaching. 

Really, we're being encouraged to stay away from the really big questions because they're going to take too long to think through. You want to pump out as much stuff as quickly as you can. That's going to have a consequence for how thoughtful things are.  - Barbara K. Seeber

Maggie Berg, a professor of English at Queen's University, and Barbara K. Seeber, a professor of English at Brock University, are co-authors of The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy.

Berg and Seeger argue universities squeeze as much intellectual capital out of professors as possible, and closely monitor the output of their mental exertions.

They spoke to Michael about their book and their mission to "reclaim the intellectual life of the university."

Click the button above to hear Michael's interview with Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber.