All Ratings and Reviews for Scot D Brown
I basically feel the same way the person 5 or 6 comments below me feels.
"I can't understand the great reviews this professor is receiving. Yeah, he's a great guy. Most professors are. But Dr. Brown has serious weaknesses. First, his lectures. Either he doesn't prepare which is inexcusable or he doesn't know the material which is pretty sad but either way, his lecture style is chaotic at best, non-sensical at worst. I dare anyone to try to follow the thread of what this guy is talking about. It can't be done. If Brown isn't rehearsing his lectures before class begins, he should start. Even when he does come up with original thoughts, he's speaking so 'off the cuff' that it's damn hard to follow. Truthfully, it makes for a very boring class. Second, his exams. He only gives a midterm and it's way, way too easy. Now, some might disagree here--some students like the easy 'A' grade. Not me. I want an exam that will separate those students who study and can think critically on the material as opposed to those who don't listen to lectures and just memorized flash cards. A disorganized and uninformed lecturer with easy tests and TA discussions that are superfluous. I think Brown needs to sacrifice the 'good guy' comments and be a lot more challenging. Some suggestions might be to quiz the students in every discussion group and use the class time for more intense Q & A. If he doesn't get answers to his questions, he should assume the students aren't reading the material and act accordingly--quiz them on the spot or let the TA know that he can feel free to make the next quiz more challenging. The alternative to quizzes would be to have more dynamic lectures but that would require more preparation than what Brown appears to be willing to give. Maybe I caught him in a bad quarter--that happens. But am I alone in my view that the biggest problem with the Afro-Am department is that the bar is just not high enough? Well, it should be higher. The material being covered in all of the classes, not just Dr. Brown's, is terribly important but if the professors aren't interested in making damn sure we learn the stuff, we won't learn it. And the only way to separate those who want to learn from those whoh are just there is to make the classes harder than they are. UCLA professors should provide intellectually stimulating lectures, exams that are fair but challenging and by the end of the quarter, we should feel that we got much more from the course above and beyond the assigned reading. He's a very good person but in Brown's class, if you read the texts and never heard a word he said in lecture, you wouldn't miss a beat."
Everyone else's critiques are long so I'll keep mine short. This class is awsome as well as the teacher! Take this course! You won't regret it.
Prof Browm is awesome simply put, he has a great emphasis on contemporary black history and its upcomings. Moreover, his ta's do a good job to get the students involved both within and outside of class. I recommend him, its not a given A, but if you do the hard you can do well.
In the four years that I have attended UCLA, this has been the greatest class by far that I have taken. Professor Brown, admittedly young, yet enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable of the material he teaches. I took History 158D in the Winter Quarter of 2003. If we had more professors like Brown, a UCLA education would be so much more fulfilling. I have written some quick sections that will most likely clarify some questions about his courses.
The two midterms (55%) he gives are a combination of his lectures and the readings, which he posts online so people do not have to buy a reader. How many professors do that for about 85% of all the course readings for the quarter? Honestly, not many. The final is a 6-10 page paper (25%) that you submit during finals week and the themes and links are made through lectures and readings at the end of the quarter. In addition, both the Professor and T.A. do make the effort to guide students in refining their paper structure. The paper I wrote was named \354Hip Hop: I Be Dissed.\356 Participation (20%) which includes Attendance and informed participation in the discussion sessions are essential to success in this class. I cannot stress that enough. Although students are supposed to email two or three discussion questions every week based on the readings to be used as a guide in the discussion sections, attendance and speaking up is important. The Teaching Assistant is given guidelines to follow by the professor in how to grade and assess student performance, so at the end it is not really her fault if she must grade with an emphasis on lectures on the midterms. Hey you are paying ~$15,000 to come to this university a year, might as well take advantage of it.
Thematics and Presentation
Week 1 Black urban community life 30's and 40's--Great overview to understanding the course
Week 2 WWII & Race\363Good discussion on Black responses to War and WWII as a race war. Recommendation would be to include a discussion about the Scottsboro Case and Black Communists.
Week 3 - Civil Rights and the 1950s\363For the most part a discussion on Montgomery. Good book is assigned to understanding what occurred in the organizing.
Week 4 - The Black Power Movement\363Great readings on the Black Liberation efforts.
Week 5 - Soul Power and Blaxploitation\363Great presentation of media and the rise in movies and the Black exploitation.
Week 6 - Inner City Blues and The Black Middle Class\363Enjoyed very much the usage of the movie done by Henry Louis Gates from Harvard University regarding the two Black classes. This movie should be seen in its entirety or at least put on reserve in the Powell Media Library so students can finish seeing it.
Week 7 - Expanding the Realm of Freedom Blackness, gender and sexuality\363What happened to including a reading from bell hooks or at least the Cornel West Chapter of \354Black Sexuality: The Taboo Subject\356 in Race Matters?
Week 8 - African Americans and the Politics of Backlash\363Introduction to Reaganism and the false promises for African Americans in the 70\355s-80\355s.
Week 9 - Hip Hop\363Great use of music, video, and lyrics to demonstrate ways that the Five Percenters and youth became to struggle with the realities of their life. Loved the use of the song \354The Message\356 since in many areas it is disregarded.
Week 10 - Revolts and Protest\363Since the quarter was coming to a close I do not feel that there was enough discussion on the Los Angeles riots and some contemporary things. This I think is the most relevant to people since many experienced the Los Angeles Riots.
Once again, I strongly encourage people to take Professor Brown and the many courses he teaches. Since he just began at UCLA he will be teaching heavily, but soon enough he too will be doing research and have his time consumed by the many tasks that are given to UCLA Professors.
Dr.Brown is a pretty nice guy. The seminar class consisted of weekly assignments (1page long), a presentation, and finally the BIG paper. The cool part was that the research paper for the 99 class was not that big of a deal. All the reasearch was the material that we read throughout the quarter and that material was not in a CR but online so you could just print it out (He didn't want us to spend our $ on course readers).
Overall, he's a pretty understanding person. RECOMMENDED? Definitely. He's really nice and not a bad grader at all! If your looking to take him for the upper division seminars he said that he'll be alittle tougher on you. So Good Luck!
Professor Brown was one of the coolest professors I've had at UCLA. He's a pretty easy grader, as long as you do the reading and attend lectures (which isn't hard since the material's so interesting), you should be fine. It's nice to learn about hip hop from a guy who's not an old fogey in a tweed jacket. It was also cool how he put all the readings online so you didn't have to buy a reader...more professors should do that.
I took the seminar class on the Black Power movement. This is an excellent topic and Dr. Brown has an impressive mastery of the subject. I really enjoyed the class and his insight. I highly recommend taking a class with him. We had to do short weekly assignments, one presentation, and a 10 page paper due on the last day of class. He was clear about what he wanted from us and provided all the primary source material online. We had engaging class discussions, watched videos, and listened to music from the era. He is a very fair grader and gives plenty of feedback. He is very approachable, responsive, and concerned about his students. We need more professors like Dr. Scott Brown at UCLA.
I took Afro-Am 158D with Professor Brown. He is a very engaging new professor who really cares about student learning. There are a lot of readings, which you should keep up with for the midterm and paper. The only downfall is that he allows his TA to grade all work so your grade is pretty much left up to her. My particular TA was horrible and was only successful at regurgitating the lecture. Despite this, take any class with Doctor Brown if you want to meet a cool, caring, professor.
Okay, while I think Dr. Brown is an earnest professor, I think his lectures are more style than substance. If you aren't an Afro Am major, then the information will be new to you. I can see how those people would like his lecture. But if you are an Afro Am major, then you will find the information thin, and little more than a lower division class masquerading as an upper division class. Dr. Brown uses a sketchy outline for his classes, and where other history professors seem to have their information down, Dr. Brown is overly reliant on his notes. He seems lost at times, as though he hasn't practiced his lecture.
Maybe this is because he's a young professor, but you get the feeling that he's trying to hard to be hip and conversational, when most of us are just trying to get the information and get the hell out of class. All of this being said, I still think Dr. Brown will eventually find a balance.
I had Intro to Afro-Am History with Professor Brown and truly did enjoy myself. He has a very engaging teaching style that will keep you interested in every lecture. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who your TA is), the grading is left solely up to the TA. As long as you go to a few of his or her office hours to truly understand the concepts and what they want you to write on the exams, you'll be fine.
Doing the readings are not absolutely mandatory to pass the class, but they are very interesting and probably the only way to ensure an A (unless you're already well versed in Afro-American history). Overall this was a good class and not hard, but not too easy.
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