Wednesday, April 21, 2010

democratic teaching model; getting back in touch

Dear friends,
As the Spring academic term winds down, I wanted to share with you the very positive news from my classes this Spring. In further developing the concept of a democratic teaching model, I have been very pleased with the quality of student papers and discussions. The students have written solid papers that analyze instead of merely summarize scholarly articles. We have explored together various geographic regions including Latin America, Africa, Asia, and students have made very impressive presentations. The usual 10-minute presentations generally last most of the hour as presenters shift to leading discussions.

I am still exploring (probably always will be)effective teaching methods. I find myself coming half circle back to offering more (mini) lectures on theories, while at the same time allowing students to help choose (and assign to other students) readings, negotiate grading structure, and agree on class format. I still have requirements for a research paper and community service.

I would be most interested in anyone sharing their thoughts on effective teaching - and learning. We can start a facebook group for anyone interested.

But I feel as if those of you who have enjoyed Betty's and my Sierra Leone blog and want to continue with this one are folks who share a common interest in learning, travel, and sharing ideas. Not sure what the best format is, but would love to hear from everyone who either follows this blog, or happens to come across it. We could set up a facebook group; I use facebook now (for the first time) with my classes. I still need to set up a blog alert for those who said "YES" to wanting to continue with this one. Am actually not sure how one does that other than to send an email notice. Any suggestions?

Hope to hear from you. Google offers translation, so if I can use it, that means anyone can join in using their own language. Please, no commercial material and only posts one can share with families.

2 comments:

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