One of the regular indignities we university teachers have to face is the “Peer Review of Lectures”, during which another member of teaching staff sits in on a lecture in order to give, hopefully constructive, criticism. I first went through this many years ago and among the negative comments made by my reviewer – who shall remain nameless – concerned my tendency to pace around while lecturing. I wasn’t aware that I did it until it was mentioned in that context but try as I might I haven’t really been able to stop doing it. It’s probably just nerves, but the excuse I usually give is that I like to present a moving target. Anyway, it’s not such a bad thing to move around when you’re lecturing, is it? A little animation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Or is it?
On the other hand, one can obviously take this too far. Anyone who saw Gordon Brown’s speech about the Labour leadership contest a few days ago will have seen this taken to an extreme. He moved backwards and forwards so regularly that it was almost hypnotic, like those ducks you see at a fairground shooting gallery. It was inevitable that someone would give him this treatment..
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