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Author Topic: Using my own book to teach a course?  (Read 30891 times)
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« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2012, 6:01:26 am »

Sorry if I'm responding to a thread that is too old to respond to (I guess it's not that old really). I'm not a professor or even a grad student yet, but I had two professors (in an interdisciplinary social science/humanities type field) use their books to teach upper-level undergraduate seminars and I thought it was great. They acknowledged that they felt awkward about it, and I actually think they were required to do so so I'm not sure they even wanted to, but my feelings were a) the class is subjective to begin with, and the professor is the one who structures the class and their opinions and experiences and research guide how they present material and lead discussions. Not that they only allowed their perspective in the class when it came to discussion, but no matter how objective anyone tries to be the same class could be taught by two different people and it will end up being completely different. My point really is that it made complete sense to me for them to teach their book, since their book, as long as they were open to critique and differing viewpoints, etc, which they were, was really just an extension and often an explanation of how they structured the course to begin with. and b) maybe I was dorkier than the average undergrad, but I found it be a really amazing experience to be able to sit with the author of a book and ask them questions regarding their methodologies, experiences doing the research, why they took a certain theoretical approach, etc. We sat around and discussed so many people's work, but it was really great to actually have the person there to respond to the discussion of their own work.

Now biology professors who write a $200 textbook and needlessly update it every year and then require their section buy it when the new editions don't make much or any difference to make a profit are another story I suppose--I've always assumed that social science/humanities professors don't make much or any money off their books to begin with.
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« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2012, 6:09:17 am »

I am beginning to teach in a new place next year, and I thought that I might suggest a course on my dissertation topic, using my own book as the course textbook. My questions about this are:

-   Is it conceited to use your own book to teach a course?
-   Since my book had only one edition, it is hard-cover and rather expensive. Are hard-cover books acceptable? And would the publisher usually print up some soft-cover books for the class?
-   Would I draw too much attention to myself in a new place by suggesting to teach this kind of course?

Thanks in advance.

It is illegal at my university to sell your own book to your students. You can use it, but it has to be free.

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