“Mapping” Exercise: a first-hand account

Workshop 2-20-14At the workshop I attended a week ago on sharing responsibility for classroom environment and learning [with our students], we closed with what I found to be an effective and helpful mapping exercise.

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Doubts and Beliefs

I am very fortunate to work at an institution that supports a teaching center.  I don’t know if this dedicated focus on supporting innovative and excellent teaching is available at other pre-professional schools, but it’s an excellent resource for all faculty on our campus. Since we are tied with a liberal arts school, we benefit from the ways they support their emphasis on teaching.
Tonight, I participated in a session called “Sharing Responsibility for Classroom Environments and Learning.” It forwarded many ideas that I already firmly believe in, but did it in ways that helped me to broaden the ways I talk about these values by eliciting comments from colleagues that I have never talked to about teaching. (Essentially, it ties in with a lot of things I’ve already written about, especially mid-term evaluations, reflection, involving students in learning and assessment, and getting out of your comfort zone.) Continue reading

In the midst of the Middle Ground

Today, my Form and Analysis class visited our wonderful museum and received an introduction to visual analysis. Everyone attended, everyone spoke, and everyone was engaged (a 12-student class). I am curious to hear what they think they took from the visit when we meet again on Friday. I’m equally curious to see if, at the end of the semester, they find that they took more than expected from the visit. We engaged with four works, and I described some of my and the museum’s educators’ preparation in this post. Continue reading

Happy Class: Good Discussion

We had a productive discussion today at the end of my upper division course (students with four semesters of music theory under their belts). Over the course of my teaching career, I’ve really struggled with how to improve discussion.  I’ve done reading, met with master teachers, observed, and experimented.  But, today really was the first where I think I found a good combination of strategies.  There were three: Continue reading