February 03, 2004

Gill, Natasha
[PHIL V2100] Philosophy of Education

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

OK, first of all-- I was really surprised to read the reviews posted on Professor Gill. Yes-- she does challenge her students. However, Gill is one of the best professors I've had at Barnard/Columbia and I cannot recommend her highly enough. I would encourage any other student to take a class with Gill before graduating. Give her enough time; she'll be the next Dalton. (You heard it here first) She's dynamic, inspired, sincere and yet still grounded. I don't really understand how anyone could leave one of her classes without a profound respect for Gill as a person and as a professor. This was the kind of class where you bonded with your classmates whom you never met before over how wonderful the professor was. You got the sense that Gill is one of those people that lives her life on a fuller, richer, deeper level and this vitality permeates her classes. As far as the issues raised in the other posts: Gill is not married to the syllabus, but is by no means disorganized-- she's just realistic and will take more or less time as needed for certain subjects. She does have high expectations but not unrealistic ones. This is not the kind of class that you can sleep through-- but trust me, you'll never want to. Her classes do seem to be run more like seminars with a lot of discussion. She's sensitive to those who are quieter, but still encourages them to participate. There was no favoritism in my class with her. My only complaint would be that she likes to understand her students, but can label them too quickly. I don't think she locks into those opinions though.

Workload:

two papers, 6-8 and 8-10 pages. no midterm. no final.
reading was reasonable. you will have to do the work for this class.. and it helps to do the reading so you can participate in discussions. but the workload is really not crazy. nothing like a hard-core seminar.