Teacher-Scholar: The Journal of the State Comprehensive University


Rebecca D. Cox. The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. 198 p. ISBN 9780674060166. $16.95. Picture this: small groups of students work together on a peer review exercise in a composition class, their desks arranged in clusters around the room, while the teacher circulates among the groups rather than standing in front of the blackboard lecturing. This scene of collaborative, student-centered, experiential learning might be every critical pedagogue’s dream; however, according to Rebecca Cox, it is the typical community college student’s nightmare. Cox studies this major disconnect between teachers’ and students’ definitions of good teaching at the micro-level of classroom interactions. While it starts in the individual classroom, her analysis extends to broader systemic issues in education including the move toward standardized testing in K-12, growing interest in writing across-the-curriculum initiatives, and the burgeoning field of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).