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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FAMU law students: It's not just the writing

Famulogo_2 This morning's St. Petersburg Times story about FAMU legal writing instructor Victoria Dawson focused on her writing skills. But some students at the law school say her teaching skills leave something to be desired, too. "Professor Dawson's teaching style relied primarily on assigning exercises from the required texts, which she would then re-read to us in class," one student wrote in a complaint to interim Dean Ruth Witherspoon, according to a complaint obtained by The Gradebook. "When students appeared disengaged or bored, she became visibly agitated and sarcastic."

Another student told The Gradebook that Dawson occasionally taught as a substitute professor in his class and made so many verbal blunders that "she lost all credibility with the class." "She was a nice person," the student said. "But people would literally have to leave the room or turn their chairs around and not face her because her speech was so ridiculous they could not stop laughing."

FAMU officials acknowledge they have received written complaints about Dawson, but so far have not turned them over in response to records requests from the Times. Students told The Gradebook that they made incoming President James Ammons aware of the situation when they met with him earlier this spring.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:18am]

    

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