student learning

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I have been a lifelong doodler. In fact, my college class notes look more like sketchbooks than notebooks (and the doodles are the only reason I’ve kept some of my college notes). Even today pencil and sketchpad are not far from reach in the event an idle moment provides ...

Like many others, I started my teaching career emulating those who taught me, and, uncritically imitating the way they taught. By and large, that meant passing on information by lecturing in the classroom, with occasional attempts at "discussion." Since then I've come to understand better the processes of teaching and ...

As the saying goes, “sometimes the old ways are best.” (Eve Moneypenny and James Bond in Skyfall, 2012) Hevruta is a venerable pedagogy that places mutual student learning at the center of the classroom. In rabbinic tradition hevruta (“friend,” “companion”) denotes a pair who read and study sacred texts together.   I ...

Pedagogical Confession: I learn from lectures.  I’m one of those people for whom the traditional academy was made.  I listen to lectures on audiofiles (and I have since I was a teenager).  My larger classes in undergraduate and graduate school were large lectures with separate sections led by a ...

My unpleasant memories of middle school English classes are made much worse when I recall how some teachers taught poetry and prose by picking “important” passages and pontificating about them. Learning to “read” poetry was essentially learning to listen to a lifeless lecture.  When I first began teaching I too ...

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