Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning is a podcast from the Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning. Our mission is to encourage instructors, students, and leaders in higher education to reflect on what they believe about teaching and learning.
You Can’t Ignore That a Pandemic Happened with John Warner
John Warner, educator and author of the Inside Higher Ed blog, “Just Visiting”, wrote in a May 2022 post titled “You Can’t Ignore That a Pandemic Happened (https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/you-can%E2%80%99t-ignore-pandemic-happened)”: “I am concerned that the understandable desire to get beyond the extreme challenges of trying to educate in the midst of the worst period of the pandemic is interfering with some deeper questions, some more nuanced conversations we should be having about teaching and learning.” In our first episode of the fall semester, we discuss with John the debate over the “return to normal,” and what will happen to the practices that teachers engaged in as we move away from pandemic teaching conditions.John Warner is a writer, editor, speaker, researcher, consultant, and author of eight books, including (https://bookshop.org/a/1793/9781421437989)Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities (Johns Hopkins UP) and (https://bookshop.org/a/1793/9780143133155)The Writer’s Practice: Building Confidence in Your Nonfiction Writing (Penguin), which is widely used in writing classrooms from middle school through college. John has become a national voice on issues of faculty labor, institutional values, and writing pedagogy. John is an affiliate faculty at the College of Charleston, and his most recent book, (https://bookshop.org/a/1793/9781948742955)Sustainable. Resilient. Free.: The Future of Public Higher Education (Belt) is now available.
Two Years Later: Learning through a Pandemic with Two Columbia Undergraduate Students
Over the past two years, Columbia students have made multiple transitions between online, hybrid, and in-person learning during the pandemic. In today’s episode, Emma Fromont, a senior at Columbia’s School of General Studies, and Victor Jandres Rivera, a sophomore at Columbia College, discuss how these different modalities and contexts have shaped them as learners. Emma and Victor share dead ideas they have discovered in topics such as learning with technology, building community, and grading. They also share strategies that their instructors have used that have been particularly helpful in their learning. Resource* Resources and reflections (https://ctl.columbia.edu/faculty/sapp/) developed by the Undergraduate Student Consultants on Teaching and Learning with CTL staff, as part of the Students as Pedagogical Partners initiative Transcript available at http://ctl.columbia.edu/podcast (http://ctl.columbia.edu/podcast)
Minding Bodies: How Physical Space, Sensation, and Movement Affect Learning with Susan Hrach
Today we speak with Susan Hrach (https://facstaff.columbusstate.edu/faculty-center/contact-us.php), author of the book Minding Bodies: How Physical Space, Sensation, and Movement Affect Learning (2021), which “shifts the focus of adult learning from an exclusively mental effort toward an embodied, sensory-rich experience, offering new strategies to maximize the effectiveness of time spent learning together on campus as well as remotely.” Along with co-host Caitlin DeClercq, Assistant Director at the Columbia CTL, Professor Hrach expands upon how movement and space impact cognition and learning, and discusses some of the dead ideas this research debunks. Resource: Minding Bodies: How Physical Space, Sensation, and Movement Affect Learning (2021) by Susan Hrach Transcript available at ctl.columbia.edu/podcast (http://ctl.columbia.edu/podcast)
The Impact of Student Perceptions of Instructor Authority on Resistance to Inclusive Teaching with Chavella Pittman and Thomas Tobin
Today we speak with Drs. Chavella Pittman and Thomas Tobin, authors of the article “Academe Has a Lot to Learn about How Inclusive Teaching Affects Instructors (https://www.chronicle.com/article/academe-has-a-lot-to-learn-about-how-inclusive-teaching-affects-instructors)”, published in The Chronicle of Higher Education in February 2022. In the article, they write, “A key tenet of inclusive teaching asks faculty members to intentionally give up or share some of their power and authority in the classroom, so that students can experience a greater sense of ownership and choice over their own learning. Advocates of this approach tend to assume that every instructor has plenty of authority, power, and status to share. But what if you don’t?” In this episode, Chavella and Tom compare their experiences of student resistance to their use of ungrading and flexible deadline teaching practices. Along with co-host Rebecca Petitti of the Columbia CTL, they discuss why they wrote the article, and share what they believe are the most important action steps that can be taken to address these inequities. Resources* Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice by Maryellen Weimer “Academe Has a Lot to Learn about How Inclusive Teaching Affects Instructors (https://www.chronicle.com/article/academe-has-a-lot-to-learn-about-how-inclusive-teaching-affects-instructors)” by Chavella Pittman and Thomas TobinTranscript available at ctl.columbia.edu/podcast (http://ctl.columbia.edu/podcast)
Dead Ideas About Anti-Racist Pedagogy with Frank Tuitt
What is anti-racist pedagogy and how is it different than inclusive teaching? Is it a new pedagogy? How can instructors enact anti-racist practices in the classroom, and what structural changes should universities make to support these efforts? In today’s episode, Frank Tuitt, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Connecticut, helps us answer these questions. Dr. Tuitt also shares his own journey in the work of anti-racist pedagogy, as well as the dead ideas he has encountered along the way, and what keeps him inspired and motivated to believe in the possibility of change. Resources * Race, Equity, and the Learning Environment (2016). Edited by Frank Tuitt, Chayla Haynes, and Saran Stewart* “Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Action: First Steps (https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/resources/anti-racist-pedagogy-2/)”. Resource from the Columbia CTL.Transcript available at ctl.columbia.edu/podcast (http://ctl.columbia.edu/podcast)
Teaching Development at Its Best: A Graduate Student Reflects
Columbia University graduate student, Aleksandra Jakubczak, shares her reflections on her journey to become a more informed and confident teacher, and how that journey took her so much further than she initially expected! Listen to find out what changed in her teaching, but also discover how her engagement with the Columbia CTL’s Teaching Development Program (https://tdp.ctl.columbia.edu/) changed her conception of teaching and its place in her career—exactly the kind of change called for and highlighted in Beth McMurtrie’s article, “The Damaging Myth of the Natural Teacher” (our previous episode). Transcript available at ctl.columbia.edu/podcast (http://ctl.columbia.edu/podcast)
Wonderful theme for an education podcast. It’s great to see CTL director go out and share her expertise and find great guests.