I love chattering too.

When Edward B. Burger presents a math challenge to his class at Baylor University, he paces the aisles and pairs students together. “I want to hear chattering,” he says. Before long, students are laughing and shouting out answers. He dashes to the chalkboard to scribble them down, creating long rows of numbers topped with running stick figures.

Read the whole thing.

In 1990 he received a tenure-track position at Williams, where he is also a professor of social responsibility and personal ethics. The most important issue, he says, is what students will retain from his class 10 years later. “If we are in the business of transforming lives and can’t give a good answer to that question,” he says, “we’re failing.”

Williams is failing, and it is partly Ed Burger’s fault!

Why doesn’t Williams survey (repeatedly and in depth) its alumni about the quality of the education they receive? Why not ask which professors had the biggest impact, which classes proved to be the most important and which experiences had the most impact?

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