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«“To teach is to create space” - Parker Palmer, quoted in O’Reilley, 1999, p. 1 “Whoever teaches without emancipating stultifies. And whoever ...»

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Making Space for Learning:

Pedagogical Planning and Facilitation in Higher Education Contexts

SOWK B676.001 and 002 Fall 2016

Dr. Alison Cook-Sather Thursdays 9:00-11:00 a.m. G2

acooksat@brynmawr.edu (Plus field work for undergraduates)

“To teach is to create space” - Parker Palmer, quoted in O’Reilley, 1999, p. 1

“Whoever teaches without emancipating stultifies. And whoever emancipates doesn’t have to worry about what the emancipated person learns.”

- Rancière, The Ignorant Schoolmaster, 1981, p. 18 This course/pedagogy workshop series is designed for graduate and undergraduate students interested in exploring, developing, and refining pedagogical conceptions and approaches appropriate to higher education contexts. The workshops and graduate course consist of weekly, interactive, two-hour sessions. Undergraduates complete additional weekly hours in field work (explained in requirements below) and meet weekly as a group in a reflective session to process the field work.

The weekly meetings of all participants aim to create a space for reflection, analysis, questioning, and planning. You will draw on your experiences as students, T.A.s, and teachers across a range of disciplines and at different stages of your formal preparation and careers, and you will complete templates, respond to critical questions, and generate questions about and plans for effective teaching practice. There are readings assigned weekly (required of those enrolled in the course and recommended for those participating in the workshops). Beyond published texts, a significant portion of the ‘content’ of the sessions will be generated by participants through reflection and discussion.

This course/workshop series counts toward the Dean’s Certificate in Pedagogy, which is overseen by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

This course has various, interrelated learning goals. You will:

Explore and analyze different theories and practices of pedagogical planning and facilitation • Actively and constructively contribute to your own and others’ learning through individual • reflection and engaged dialogue Develop and refine your capacity to articulate and support your own pedagogical • commitments and approaches Critically reflect on your own trajectory through the course and (re)present your learning in a • final portfolio


• Bain, K. (2004). What The Best College Teachers Do

• Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses, Expanded 2nd Edition

• Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition

• Articles, chapters, and links posted under each session on Moodle.

Requirements for those enrolled in the course:

Weekly attendance, on-time arrival, and constructive contribution: Your regular, active, • thoughtful engagement is key to your own and others’ learning in this course.

Weekly readings: For each week there are readings posted. Please read these BEFORE the • Thursday sessions. Because we meet only once per week for two hours, there is extensive reading (some documents are longer than others, though, so a long list doesn’t mean longer reading, and vice versa!). You do not need to read every word or try to commit to memory everything you read; the purpose is to expose yourself to the ideas in the texts, integrate what you can at this point, and to make notes to return to.

Weekly reading responses. In preparation for each week’s session, complete a reading • response—a short, informal reflection that includes insights, questions, connections, and references to the texts assigned and the issues they raise. These should be posted BEFORE the weekly Thursday sessions, ideally by Tuesday or Wednesday so others can read them.

Weekly reflections. These should be informal but thoughtful analyses posted AFTER each • weekly meeting, and they should capture (1) how discussion and activities during the session affirmed, complicated, and/or changed your thinking about the issues addressed and (2) implications for your own current and/or future pedagogical practice.

Field work [for undergraduates]. The field work sites are the other courses in which you • are enrolled. You will keep a set of notes analyzing the pedagogy you experience and observe, meet weekly with the other undergraduates enrolled in the course to process your experiences and observations, and post short, informal reflections in a special section of Moodle.

Portfolio: Due at the end of the semester, this representation of your learning and • development through the course (or throughout the minor in Educational Studies, if you are

using this as a capstone course). The portfolio should include:

(1) an introduction (2) all weekly responses completed before each session (3) all templates and sets of critical questions completed during each workshop session (4) all weekly reflections completed after each session (5) “meta” reflections/analyses across these.

(And more if you are using the course as a capstone for the minor in Educational Studies) We will discuss as a group forms that the portfolio might take (e.g., electronic, hard copy, thematically or chronologically organized, etc.). It can be different for each of you.

From Access Services at Bryn Mawr College:

Students who think they may need accommodations in this course because of the impact of a learning, physical or psychological disability must contact Deborah Alder, Coordinator of Access Services (610-526-7351 or dalder@brynmawr.edu) as soon as possible to verify their eligibility for reasonable academic accommodations. Early contact will help to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and delays in arranging accommodations, if you are eligible for them. Additionally, students are encouraged to meet with me privately to discuss any academic concerns.

From Access and Disability Services at Haverford College:

Haverford College is committed to supporting the learning process for all students. Please contact me as soon as possible if you are having difficulties in the course. There are also many resources on campus available to you as a student, including the Office of Academic Resources (https://www.haverford.edu/oar/) and the Office of Access and Disability Services (https://www.haverford.edu/access-and-disability-services/). If you think you may need accommodations because of a disability, you should contact Access and Disability Services at hcads@haverford.edu. If you have already been approved to receive academic accommodations and would like to request accommodations in this course because of a disability, please meet with me privately at the beginning of the semester (ideally within the first two weeks) with your verification letter.

Weekly schedule of sessions:


How we conceptualize ‘education’ shapes how we think of our roles as teachers and structure learning opportunities for students. In this session we will address the question: What do we understand the process of education to be and how can we as teachers facilitate learning according to the definition(s) of education we generate?


! Barr & Tagg, “A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education” in Moodle ! Cook-Sather, Preface and Chapters 1-2 in Education Is Translation in Moodle ! Fink, Preface and Chapter 1 in Creating Significant Learning Experiences ! Nelson, “Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor” in Moodle ! Scardamalia & Bereiter, “Knowledge Building” in Moodle [recommended] September 8: WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT LEARNING?

Notions of how people learn and the purpose of learning have changed over time. In this session we will address the question: What do we know about how people learn and how can we build on that to develop classrooms conducive to and supportive of learning?


! Fink, Chapter 2 in Creating Significant Learning Experiences ! Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, & Norman. (2010). “How Learning Works” [in Moodle] ! Doyle, T., & Zakrajsek, T. (2014). “Mindsets toward Learning” [in Moodle] ! “Theories and Models of Learning” [in Moodle] ! Jaschick, S. (2011). “Can Students Learn to Learn” [in Moodle] ! Duckworth, E. (1987). “The Virtues of Not Knowing” [in Moodle] ! “Threshold Concepts” [in Moodle] ! Berrett, D. (2012). “Can Colleges Manufacture Motivation?” [in Moodle] ! Wineburg, S. (2003). “Teaching the Mind Good Habits” [in Moodle] ! Chi & Wiley (2014). “Linking Cognitive Engagement with Active Learning Outcomes” [in Moodle] [recommended] ! How Learning Works in Moodle [recommended] ! How People Learn in Moodle [recommended] ! Review of A New Culture of Learning in Moodle [recommended] ! Sawyer, “The New Science of Learning” in Moodle [recommended] September 15: HOW DO YOU PREPARE TO CREATE ‘SIGNIFICANT LEARNING EXPERIENCES’?

Building on what we have explored regarding conceptualizations of education and what we know about how people learn, we will turn in this session to a discussion of several theorists’ arguments for how to prepare to teach—how to design and structure learning opportunities that support student engagement and understanding.


! Fink, L. D. (2013). Chapter 3 in Creating Significant Learning Experiences ! Bain, K. (2004). Chapter 3: How Do They Prepare to Teach? In What the Best College Teachers Do ! Revisit/reread text from Weeks 1 and 2 September 22: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘START WHERE THE LEARNER IS’?

In what ways can we as teachers “start where the learner is” (Bruner, 1977) and engage and keep students’ interest? What do we need to know do take such an approach? What are the drawbacks or challenges of doing so?


! Engaging Students (Student Perspectives)” [in Moodle] ! Bain, K. (2004). Chapter 4: What Do They Expect of Their Students? In What the Best Teachers Do ! Burger, E. (2012). “The Importance of Undisciplined Thinking” [in Moodle] ! Owens, C. N. (2014). “Bringing the Locker Room onto the Classroom” [in Moodle] September 29: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP A TEACHING ‘STYLE’?

“Teaching styles have much to do with assumptions and beliefs about what teaching is. Styles are not strategies anyone can simply adopt; rather, you need to create a style that is congruent with your commitments and personality. In this session we spend some time exploring different people’s notions of teaching, and then we discuss what kinds of teaching styles you might be comfortable developing.


! Torosyan, R. (2014). “Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher” [in Moodle] ! Sternberg, R. J. (2010). “Teaching Creativity” [in Moodle] ! “Awake, Accountable, Engaged” [in Moodle] ! Blow, C. M. (2014). “Nurturing Matters” [in Moodle] ! Deresiewics, W. (2014). “Teachers as ‘Spirit Guides’” [in Moodle] ! “Pedagogical Approaches That Promote Active Student Engagement” [in Moodle] ! “Questions That Inspire Constructive Contributions” [in Moodle] ! “Student Recommended Pedagogical Approaches” [in Moodle] ! “Synectics” [in Moodle] October 6: WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS OF COURSE AND SYLLABUS DESIGN?

This session gives you the opportunity to explore individually and as a group key notions from several theorists’ and students’ perspectives regarding what makes an effective syllabus. Readings include both arguments for particular approaches and templates for syllabus design.


! Fink, Chapters 3 and 4 in Creating Significant Learning Experiences ! “Critical Questions to Ask About Your Course” [in Moodle] ! Lang, J. (2015). “Three Essential Functions of a Syllabus, Part 1” [in Moodle] ! Lang, J. (2006). “The Promising Syllabus” [in Moodle] ! “Student Hopes for Syllabi” [in Moodle] ! Understanding by Design (book and template) [in Moodle] ! Guidelines and templates for developing syllabi [in Moodle]



How do you embed grading within the larger frame/context of how you conceptualize (consciously or unconsciously) course content, student learning processes and participation, and assessment?

What is the relationship between grading as a kind of formative assessment used throughout the semester to inform instruction as well as guide learners through the course and grading as a summative assessment that measures what you and students have achieved together by the end of the course?


! Bain, K. (2004). Chapter 7: How Do They Evaluate Their Students and Themselves? What The Best College Teachers Do.

! Lang, J. (2008). Week 6: Assignments and Grading. On Course.

! Warner, (2014). “It’s Impossible to Teach What I Want My Students to Learn” [in Moodle] ! Jaffe, D. (2012). “Stop Telling Students to Study for Exams” [in Moodle] ! “Contribution Rubric” ! “Inspiring Assessment Practices” ! “To Consider When Grading” ! “No Grading, More Learning” ! Rubric examples (from various faculty members) ! “Students’ Use of and Perspectives on Rubrics” ! “What Do Students Think of Rubrics” ! Links to various examples of rubrics October 27: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP AN INCLUSIVE AND RESPONSIVE CLASSROOM?

What kind of classroom environment is open to learning in various ways and supportive of a diversity of learners? What are the meanings and relevance of safety, risk, and trust in relationship to pedagogy? In this session we draw from various resources to think about creating a classroom environment conducive to learning for all students.


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