Dr. Ellen Malenas Ledoux (associate professor, English) is the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers-Camden, and she believes that the practices of the humanities classroom should match the spirit of the discipline. That is, she tries to conduct her classroom as a representation of the theories she teaches her students, namely feminist principles of egalitarianism. If we are teaching our students about equality, shouldn’t our classrooms reflect our ideals? She recognizes that, as the professor, she is required to give some structure and order to the class, but whenever possible she attempts to decentralize the classroom and let her students take responsibility for their own learning. In this spirit, her attendance taking is on the honor system, and she holds a brief discussion with her students on the implications of their honesty or lack thereof.
Similarly, she recognizes that students’ education is personal to them, and she endeavors to treat every student as an individual. She acknowledges that students at Rutgers-Camden often have very different lives from the stereotype of an undergraduate and must often manage employment and other things alongside schoolwork. With this in mind, she offers many of her assignments with flexible due dates, giving students the opportunity to turn in assignments within a window of time rather than on a set date. She finds that rolling due dates also helps with her grading load since the work comes in smaller waves.