The nature of the gift: Accountability and the professor-student relationship

Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (6):574–591 (2007)
Abstract
In this paper I introduce the theory of gift giving as a possible means to reconcile the contradictions inherent in accountability measures of ‘faculty productivity’ in the American university. In this paper I sketch the theory of gift economies to show how, given the historical ideals that characterize the faculty‐student relationship, a theory of gift giving could help us better judge the labor of the faculty. I suggest that it is the relational character of teaching that frustrates accountability measures and that perhaps if viewed as a gift economy—and in particular an economy with ‘reproductive’ ends—we could better grasp the effectiveness of these relationships
Keywords gift giving  faculty‐student relationship  accountability  faculty productivity
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