Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

The argument against editing students’ drafts of written work

Posted 22 Jul 2017 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Why I Don’t Edit Their Rough Drafts” Over the past year, I have been entering a new phase of my teaching career. My home institution, Pratt Institute, has been undergoing a massive transformation of its general education curriculum. This transformation has triggered a variety of different modifications in who I teach and Read More

A Minor Post, General Education, Higher Education, Pratt Institute, Student Writing, Teaching

What in Darwin’s name was I thinking? (#001)

Posted 13 Jan 2017 / 0

I am not afraid to play around when it comes to my teaching. I have been teaching for what seems to me a long time — eight years as a middle school teacher, several instructor gigs in graduate school, and now nearly ten years as a professor at Pratt — and I never feel as Read More

A Major Post, Course Evaluations, Higher Education, MSCI-260, Evolution, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Teaching

Celebrating Studio Days (Fall 2016)

Posted 08 Dec 2016 / 0

The Juliana Curran Design Center, where Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Communications Design critiques take place For the past three academic years, Pratt has instituted a new feature of its academic calendar: Studio Days, four days sandwiched between the penultimate instructional week and finals week, are dedicated solely to critiques, surveys, and final reviews in the studio majors. The Read More

A Major Post, Critiques, Reviews, & Surveys, Higher Education, Sustainability, Teaching

The question is how — not whether — students use electronic devices in the classroom

Posted 14 Sep 2016 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “No, Banning Laptops Is Not the Answer (And it’s just as pointless to condemn any ban on electronic devices in the classroom)” I appreciate this nuanced approach to technology use in the classroom, but I tend to lean towards the “any ban is counter-productive” perspective. I like the idea of being Read More

A Minor Post, Higher Education, Teaching, Teaching Tools

An interesting model for ditching the deadline

Posted 05 Sep 2016 / 0

Chronicle Vitae “It’s Time to Ditch Our Deadlines” I am experimenting with “suggested deadlines” this semester, which are actually even more forgiving than the grace period and negotiable extension system that Ellen Boucher describes here. She makes a compelling case for dropping strict deadlines, and I have a feeling that her system makes a lot Read More

A Minor Post, Assessment Methods, Higher Education, Teaching

An analysis of my course evaluations for Spring 2016

Posted 18 Aug 2016 / 0

For the most part I am like most of my colleagues: there are about a hundred things — some less than glorious — that I would rather do than analyze my semesterly course evaluations. But for whatever reason, I feel compelled to do so, especially given that in recent years my course evaluations have been Read More

A Major Post, Assessment Methods, Course Evaluations, Higher Education, MSCI-260, Evolution, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Teaching

A Tribute to Dr. David Becker on the Occasion of his Retirement

Posted 24 May 2016 / 0

In my eyes, the best thing that a teacher can do is to broaden the future possibilities of their students. As students, we don’t always understand how — or even that — our best teachers open up our minds to a wider and richer road ahead. And even as teachers, we can’t be at all Read More

A Major Post, Biography, Biology (general), Experiments (General), Higher Education, Science as a career, Teaching

Students succeed in convincing the Pratt Board of Trustees to divest from fossil fuels

Posted 21 Mar 2016 / 0

Historical photo of the Pratt Steam Power Plant courtesy of Wikimedia Commons This morning the Pratt community received a heartening message from our Board of Trustees: Dear Members of the Pratt Community, At its meeting on March 9, Pratt’s Board of Trustees took another major step in the Institute’s overall commitment to environmental sustainability by Read More

A Minor Post, Activism, Anthropogenic Change, Climate Change, Economics, Envirolutions, Higher Education, Pratt Institute, Sustainability, Sustainable Energy

What’s the meaning of professorial fashion?

Posted 14 Mar 2016 / 0

There’s an interesting article about professorial fashion published in Vitae today. Written by Ben Barry and entitled “Fashion Matters“, this short piece explores how professors have traditionally expressed their being “above fashion” by wearing either very predictable or very boring clothing. Barry claims that there’s a lot of under-utilized potential in the professorial wardrobe. He suggests that Read More

A Minor Post, Fashion, Higher Education, Resource Consumption, Sustainability, Teaching

End: Sabbatical; Resume: Teaching

Posted 18 Jan 2016 / 0

Students work on the Collective Biome Visions activity in one of my Ecology classes Today my first sabbatical, a semester off from teaching, is finally coming to an end. As soon as I was granted a sabbatical I knew that this day would come a lot sooner than I could imagine, and of course it Read More

A Major Post, Higher Education, MSCI-260, Evolution, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Teaching