Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The title of this blog could have been many other things. "Duh." "I'm an idiot" "Slow learner" were all seriously considered but this one seems a bit more clever.

I've read a good deal of stuff on learning and teaching so you'd think I'd have figured this out already. But reading something, agreeing with it, understanding it are one thing. Putting into practice is a whole different story.

The preposition in question is with.

Yesterday in class, students were merrily going along having a discussion they were enjoying was related to the reading and was relevant to their lives. Things were going well by all objective standards. But I wasn't convinced they were getting to the points I thought were important. So, in the 5 or 10 minutes of class, I basically took over and pointed out what I thought was important.

This would be more of the preposition at.

Instead, I could have easily (if I had taken a moment to step back) connected what was of interest to the students to some main points in the articles and they would have taken, on their own, the conversation to a deeper level understanding of the readings and the relevance of the readings in their lives. But, what they got was, potentially, an understanding of how these readings are relevant to my life. ugh. ugh. ugh.

must. remember. to. learn. from. my. own. mistakes.

In this vein, FYS 40, you will be getting another paper topic which you may choose to write on instead of the first one I gave you. This second topic will focus on the very good, relevant (to the articles and to your life) points you brought up in class.

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