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A short one from me, as it seems I’m less free from the joys of Brexit than I imagined.
Tuesday afternoon found me on a very slow-moving train, with many, many other people, all trying to get home on what was the hottest day of the year. As is traditional, this meant the trains were all messed up, hence the sardine-packing, something that us Brits love, because it forces us to confront our profound horror of others within our personal space. Especially when they’re all sweaty.
Ugh. Continue reading
Here is the second installment of using L. Dee Fink’s method of course design. In the first installment, I ran through the first phase of the process, identifying primary components. Now I’ll be assembling those components into a coherent whole by aligning the course’s schedule and topics with what students will be doing.
What topics will I introduce? (thematic structure)
I am using travel as a unifying theme that introduces students to:
- Identity politics.
- Personal transformation.
- Conflict, prejudice, and injustice.
- Global interconnectedness.
What will students need to do? (instructional strategies) Continue reading
We’ve talked about Elizabeth Barkley’s Student Engagement Technique book on this blog before (here and here). I thought I’d share another activity from the book that I used in my class last term, along with some thoughts on how the activity went.
Brief description of the activity: “Student partners review material on a controversial topic in the field that has two opposing sides (A and B) and brainstorm arguments to support their assigned position” (Barkley 199). In my experience, it works well as an impromptu class debate on a topic that doesn’t have a clear answer. In my Human Rights class, I had the students debate the U.S. response to the Rwandan genocide. The instructions for the technique suggest crafting mini-cases describing the controversy to print and distribute. I simply distributed one line prompts and expected the students to come up with the arguments based on readings and prior class discussion. Continue reading
Last week, I covered some ways you might tackle the current state of British politics, after the EU referendum.
Following that, I’ve had some conversations about running a joint simulation during the autumn semester, across institutions, so if you’d be interested in joining that, then drop me a line (s.usherwoodATsurrey.ac.uk) and we’ll see what we can work up.
This is a good example of how you can manage bigger subjects – by working with partners in other institutions – albeit with some associated transaction costs. The upside is not simply more bodies to take on roles, but also the introduction of a dynamic that gets students speaking to strangers, remotely, which is not untypical of political negotiations.
Putting that to one side, I’d liek to briefly consider yet another avenue for teaching Brexit, namely a more legal approach. Continue reading
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