I am not accustomed to feeling like there is no point for me to be in a classroom, and am even less accustomed to feeling like I cannot talk to the instructor that has created the issue about my concerns. In the class in question there is a general encouragement for graduate students to not speak or become involved in discussions until the undergraduates have had a chance to discuss. While I can understand the policy for the first week or two, until the undergrads have gotten a chance to become comfortable with discussion, I feel like this semester-long policy is a bit much. In addition, this evening in class the instructor had the undergrads break into groups, and as such left the graduate students with nothing to do. While a little break is nice, this was annoying, since after a point there was no reason for us to be in the room. We were ignored and priority given to the undergraduate students. This is the basis of my current “factual” problems with the course.
There are ideological issues which seem to be coming up as well. This particular instructor, who has a habit of speaking for a large majority of the class time, but will directly state that she does not like to lecture. She spends a lot of time explaining things, especially her pet areas of theory. This instructor has also decided that since students are not interrupting her lecture to speak up and create discussion, then she is going to instead create in-class presentation assignments to encourage speaking. I’m not sure if she is aware that she is doing these things, but they are becoming difficult to handle and are quickly turning most of the students against her and the course.
The really sucky thing is that the instructor is one that I respect a lot, she scares everyone else and as such, if she is to be approached about the problems in the course, then I am the most likely candidate to do it.