Friday, August 14, 2015

(critical) (digital) pedagogy

I spent a few weeks this summer doing this:, an online course in digital pedagogy with Kris Shaffer and 10 or so other amazing teachers from all disciplines and various geographic locations/schools...

Earlier in the summer I did a week-long, in-person intensive workshop on Writing Across the Curriculum through the Writing Center and Ann Blakeslee at EMU.

Between these experiences, led by fabulous and brilliant teachers, I have learned and thought a lot about teaching and engaging students in their own learning. I have often been frustrated when I have felt as if I fell short of getting ideas and information across to students in ways they could actually use and relate to. Although I don't think that one's approach as an instructor should entirely be to make material "relatable" (a word I totally hate in fact), there is a lot to be said for helping students into work and ideas they may at first not feel like they relate to, but will engage with and learn from. In teaching, there is often information or skills that need to be presented and practiced. But figuring out how to give students more agency and possibilities for investment in the presenting and practicing is really a key goal, especially if one is invested in a critical pedagogy. Teaching is not lecturing, but should be geared toward creating a community in which each member of the class feels comfortable participating and in which everyone has the opportunity to learn from one another.

I'm going to post here some of the writing and thinking I've been doing lately in relation to these ideas.

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