About the Teaching Carnival

by George H. Williams

Back in August of 2005, I noticed that people were blogging their thoughts about the courses they were prepping. For me, communicating with others who teach and asking them what they’re up to is one of the best ways to reflect upon my own teaching and to be inspired by new and different ideas. Encouraged by the “carnival” genre of blog entries — represented to me most prominently at the time by the History Carnival and the Philosophy Carnival — I proposed a Teaching Carnival. What grew out of this proposal was a traveling collection of constantly updated links to blog entries about teaching in higher education (See the list of 28 editions of Teaching Carnival below).

I soon learned that I wasn’t the only one who found it helpful to read about what others were doing in their classrooms. And the kind of generosity and creativity evident in the blog posts collected for the carnivals is pretty much the same spirit that animates another, more recent project: ProfHacker. Starting in September of 2010, Billie Hara took over the duties of coordinating the different editions of Teaching Carnival — each of which is now published at ProfHacker — and did a fantastic job for the next two years before deciding to move on to other things.

Starting in January of 2013, we'd like to get new carnivals published regularly again. Once a month, a different person will collect and organize links to teaching-related blog posts, annotate those links to put them in context, and then publish their collection at ProfHacker. If you are interested in either helping out with the project in some way or in putting together one of the editions of the carnival, please share some basic information about yourself with us by filling out this online form. Thanks!

In terms of content, anything goes for a blog entry to be included in a Teaching Carnival. Useful entries could range from “I can’t believe summer’s over and I’m headed back into the classroom” to “Here’s a complete version of the syllabus I’ve been working on” to “Wow, that was a weird first day of class!” to “Check out this assignment I’ve been using.” Anyone who teaches in higher education is welcome to contribute, from grad students to senior, tenured professors. You can get a good sense of what kinds of materials get included by perusing the many, many links to be found in previous editions of the carnival.

Teaching Carnival homepage

On the main page for the Teaching Carnival project is TeachingCarnival.org a complete list of links to all of the previous editions, some of which are no longer available in their original form — ah, link rot... — but we’ll see what we can do about that as we move forward.