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Angela DiGioia's picture

Imagine if…

Imagine if all classes were structured in the same way as this class. At first, this made me slightly uncomfortable and nervous because I am someone who secretly likes knowing exactly what’s expected of me in a class and a specific rubric for what I have to do to get a good grade. As much as I theoretically oppose structure, I actually desire it (like a safety blanket). Even though this class does not have a rigid structure, there are still expectations for the level of interaction and self-exploration on which we will be ultimately graded. Turns out, there is a fairly specific structure to this class. The difference is, the structure is not oppressively exhausting. The professor acts as a facilitator, gently steering the conversation and asking thought-provoking questions, rather than merely transferring information to us to memorize and then testing us on the material that was never actually put into practice or absorbed. In this transfer model of teaching, the key step in the learning process is missing. How could the students be expected to use the material that they are being taught in real life if they never learn how to apply it? The role of the teacher is key to the experience of the student and, ultimately, how they are able to retain and apply what they learn to contribute to society. Imagine if the teacher were an extension of their student; he/she could play many roles in the classroom-- motivator, challenger, critic, brainstormer, manager, and leader—in order to facilitate learning for longevity and application rather than regurgitation.



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