Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning: A New Podcast from the Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning

by | Oct 15, 2020

NEW YORK, New York. The Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has launched Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning, a new podcast hosted by CTL Executive Director Catherine Ross

The mission of the podcast is to encourage instructors, students, and leaders in higher education to reflect on what they believe about teaching and learning. In each episode, guests are invited to share their discoveries of “dead ideas”—ideas that are not true but that are often widely believed and embedded in the pedagogical choices we make. 

Conversations focus on dead ideas in topics such as grading, teaching with technology, student motivation, assessment, and neuromyths about learning, to name a few. Conversations also explore dead ideas exposed by the move to remote teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We hope these radically honest conversations will inspire lightbulb moments for our listeners as they seek to understand their own teaching and learning,” said Ross. 

The theme originates from the article “The Tyranny of Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning” (The Sociological Quarterly, 2011) by Diane L. Pike, Professor of Sociology at Augsburg University. Pike writes, “Ideas are dead because they are no longer correct, if they ever were. They are tyranny because we cling to them despite the evidence…Clinging to dead ideas about teaching and learning limits our practice as professors. The resulting tyranny means we fail to educate our students as effectively as we might…The good news is that learned behaviors, sociologically informed reflection, and the application of the research in the scholarship of teaching and learning can liberate us and improve the experiences of teachers and learners alike.”

Episodes will be released every other Thursday starting Thursday, October 15, and are approximately 20-30 minutes in length. Episodes can be found on or Apple Podcasts

About Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning. 

About the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) partners with faculty, students, and colleagues across the University to support excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. The CTL is committed to advancing the culture of teaching and learning at Columbia through all of its programs, services, and resources. Visit to learn more.

For more information, please contact Laura Nicholas, Communications & Outreach Manager, Columbia CTL, at