The idea that as professors we should be good role models for our students is certainly not anything new or surprising. We all take care to speak professionally, proofread our handouts carefully, demonstrate our scholarly integrity by citing sources for ideas we use, show up on time--and prepared--for class. etc. An article by David Googlar in The Chronicle of Higher Education, though, did make me rethink that role model issue.
Among other suggestions, Googlar advises that rather than just modeling expertise, we should also “model stupidity”—showing students that not knowing an answer is an acceptable and important part of being a scholar and then showing them the thinking processes we use to try to find a reasonable answer.
“Almost everything we do in the classroom -- the way we speak, how we make use of technologies, what we demand of our students -- provides a model for them in some way,” Googlar argues.
Do you agree? In what ways do you see yourself as a role model in the classroom? What are the actions/attributes/awarenesses that you consciously try to model as you teach?