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keeping up my end of the conversation. . .

At the end of this beautiful Saturday afternoon, I decided to take a stroll through CUNY Commons. I thought linking to Jim Groom’s site might be a lively way to spend cocktail hour.

Join me —
“Going Looney (sic) at CUNY: A Presentation
Posted on March 1, 2011 by Reverend

    So going loony at CUNY was an improv. Taking a cue from Jim Groom, maybe one strategy for developing gen ed curriculum might be to. . . like improvise–riff like Myles Davis. Sure lightens up the class prep time

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2 Responses to keeping up my end of the conversation. . .

  1. I’m intrigued by the opportunities for improv in our teaching, too. One of the things I’ve gradually worked up to in teaching students how to use the library is not doing many (if any!) practice searches before a session, because I feel that it’s really helpful for students to see me do a search that doesn’t return any good results and for us to work through that together, live in the class. Because searches do fail, all the time, and it’s rare to find what we need (esp. scholarly information) on the first try. But it’s been a process for me, and definitely something that gets easier the longer I teach.

    Thanks for posting this link, Charles!

  2. Jonas Reitz says:

    Maura, I love this idea of showing students the “real process” instead of some carefully constructed idealized version. This resonates with an issue in math classes about preparing the examples to be used in a lecture. Some teachers believe in working out the details of every example beforehand, and others work through them for the first time in front of the class. I am quite taken by the idea of approaching examples cold — and when they don’t “work out nicely” it provides a great chance for students to see how I adapt and troubleshoot. On the other hand, a badly chosen or constructed example can sidetrack the discussion at the very moment when a central idea is being examined — if it’s serious enough, this can end up derailing the class and spreading mass confusion. My current strategy is somewhere in the middle — maybe I prepare a few key examples and look at them in detail ahead of time, but I make room to pull in others (especially in response to questions).

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