Blog

Building Classroom Dialogue Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge

By Andrew Miller Classroom discourse can often be difficult to achieve. Whether you are a teaching assistant, new faculty member, or tenured faculty, getting students to answer and ask questions is a challenge all instructors face. This is especially true in the sciences where students often have anxiety about the subject, little interest, and the […]

Lift as We Climb: Instances of Women’s Peer Support in Navigating the Academy

By Emma Björngard-Basayne and Kristi Kaeppel Last spring, as we made that precarious leap from a school friendship into a full-blown, text-every-day, drink-wine-together-on-weekdays-friendship, a curious thing started to happen. The daily anxieties and feelings of self-doubt that accompany being a graduate student started to weigh less heavily on us. Over coffee, we chatted excitedly about […]

“I Feel Like I Live a Double Life When They Don’t Know My Status”: A Student Perspective on Supporting Immigrants

By Emma Bjorngard & Kristi Kaeppel On September 5, 2017, Trump announced that his administration would phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) over the next two and a half years, leaving it to Congress to take up legislation in the next 6 months. As instructors who have worked with vulnerable populations, our thoughts […]

Differentiated Instruction with Graphic Novels: Using Unconventional Texts to Foster Positive Learning Outcomes

In my previous posts for this blog, I’ve discussed how you can support LGBTQIA+ students in your college classroom. In this post, I’ll speak about how I’ve made curricular decisions to support another student demographic–diverse learners. More specifically, I’ll be discussing the merit of using graphic novels and how doing so can actually support the […]

Bringing the Current into the Classroom: Thoughts and Lessons on Tackling Tough Topics with Our Students

In our valiant efforts to integrate important current topics in our classes, we need support from the university and from each other, to discuss and exchange advice and strategies on doing this well. We will need support in the form of forgiving ourselves if it doesn’t always go well. We will need to recognize that some of our classes may become tense and uncomfortable (as a story I’ll share below illustrates). To actually open minds to consider new viewpoints and shift deep-seated beliefs and biases is a precarious, slow, and often uncomfortable process. But then, such is learning.

What Being a High School Dropout Taught Me About Teaching

I recently began working on a project that looks at how teachers form their beliefs and conceptions of teaching. Like so much of learning, it seems teachers’ beliefs develop incidentally through experience and observation. Perhaps we model our beloved high school science teacher or we imagine ourselves rousing students from boredom a la Robin Williams […]

Alternatives and Tweaks to PowerPoints in Large Classes

By Fahd Rafiq As a PhD student in Political Science, I have spent most of my life in educational settings. From the time I graduated high school in 1998 until now, I’ve witnessed a transition from traditional chalk board teaching to PowerPoint slideshows. Although I believe PowerPoint slideshows can be useful, I argue that they […]