Showing posts from January, 2015

One Semester Later: Lessons Learned Teaching at Bryn Mawr

Teaching at Bryn Mawr College has finally given me a chance to experiment and reflect as a teacher across a relatively stable stretch of time. As a visiting professor at Carleton College, I never taught for more than two consecutive terms and at Deep Springs two factors conspired against more systematic improvement: I rarely had the chance to teach the same course again and the extremely small class size – I averaged around eight students per course – made it difficult to distinguish the effectiveness of my pedagogy from the changed dynamics or abilities of the students enrolled. At Bryn Mawr, however, I have the chance to teach courses repeatedly as well as larger and thus more consistent classes. This gives me a terrific opportunity to fine-tune my teaching in ways not previously possible. After one semester at Bryn Mawr and seventeen students officially “taught,” it’s a little early to draw any strong conclusions about what I should change and why. But my participation this fal

Spring Semester at Bryn Mawr

It does not feel like spring on this gelid afternoon at Bryn Mawr , but I've just completed drafts of syllabi for the new courses I'm teaching this spring semester: Power and Resistance , which looks at \ theories and practices of power in contemporary political life; and On The Human Condition , a seminar examining Hannah Arendt and political thinking. "New" is not completely right: both courses update courses I taught at Deep Springs College , although each has some substantial changes; I think I've improved these courses dramatically, but I'll have to wait and see how well they work. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions in the coming weeks. (I will post final versions of these syllabi under "Teaching" once I start the semester in a few weeks.)