Envisioning University Teaching
This seminar builds on the students’ experience of the “best and worst classroom” and their views regarding their “best and worst” professors. It makes use of an experiential approach for students to reflect on “What is a University?”, enabling them to creatively express and examine their notion of a university environment. This discussion is followed by the reflections of acclaimed American University professors on “Thinking of Teaching as an Art Form”.
8:30 – 9:00 am Registration, Breakfast, and ‘Best’/‘Worst’ Postings
Please post your responses to these 2 questions:
- ‘Best’: Choose one word describing your best professor or best class that you have taken.
- ‘Worst’: Choose one word describing your worst professor or worst class that you have taken.
9:00 – 9:30 am Introductions and ‘Best and Worst Classroom’ Exercise
9:30 -10:30 am An Experiential Approach: What is a University?
Alida Anderson, Associate Professor, School of Education, Teaching and Health
Laura Juliano, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
- Objective (5 min): To examine our assumptions and frame the topic “What is a University?” to introduce concepts and facilitate dialogue
- Group into teams of 6 students and go to each “station” in the classroom (set up with markers and re-stick newsprint sheets)
- Each team: Introduce yourselves, appoint moderator and note taker.
- Drawing Activity (10 minutes) Using the box (X) as the classroom:
- Design a university setting (University Map) with your group
- Post your “University Map” on the wall at your station.
- Prepare brief (2-5 min) description; decide who will be describing which parts of the University Map (approximately 30s-1min each).
- Follow -up Discussion in Teams (30-40 minutes)
- Listen to each group’s description (5 min each)
- Compare/contrast information from groups during discussion
- Make notes for reflection posts to BB forum
10:30-10:45 am Coffee Break
10:45 -12:30 pm Thinking of Teaching as an ‘Art Form’
Anthony E.Varona, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs teaches Contracts, Administrative Law, Media Law, and Introduction to Public Law, in addition to serving as associate dean for faculty and academic affairs. Before becoming associate dean, he was the director of the SJD Program. Prior to joining the WCL faculty in 2005, he was an associate professor of law at Pace Law School in New York. Before that, he served as general counsel and legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay civil rights organization. He built HRC’s legal department, directed its legislative and regulatory lawyering and appellate amicus work, launched national law fellow and pro bono attorney programs, and served as counsel to HRC’s board of directors and the organization’s corporate, educational, and media initiatives.
12:35- 1:00 pm Closing
Please post your responses to the probes below to the BB forum entitled “What is a University?” Also, respond to at least one other student’s post in your responses.
1) What assumptions about universities emerge from groups’ Maps?
2) Are there significant differences in the “framing” of the groups’ Maps?
3) Are there patterns/differences/overlaps in groups’ perspectives?
4) Why is this information important to consider?
Best and worst qualities describing professors or classes
Please share your comments below.