Every semester, the Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning sponsors a variety of Teaching Circles where faculty come together to discuss a teaching topic of shared interest. These have proven especially useful for many faculty over the past several years, and we encourage faculty to consider leading or participating in a Teaching Circle this semester. Teaching Circles generally meet on three specific Fridays from noon until 1:00 in Neilson Browsing Room with lunch provided (see below for this semester's dates and locations).
The following are Teaching Circles that are continuing or currently forming for fall 2014 with others to be announced. If you are interested in joining one of these groups, please contact the faculty organizer noted below. If you have ideas for other Teaching Circle topics, please contact Floyd Cheung to discuss it further.
Fall 2014 - Dates TBA
Joseph O'Rourke, Associate Provost
The Online/Blended Learning Teaching Circle will examine the concept of "flipping" or "blending" course content and learning activities. We will discuss a variety of methods for taking first exposure to content outside the classroom, potentially freeing more class time for problem solving, group activities and other active learning.
Borjana Mikic (Engineering)
This group of faculty and staff from wide-ranging disciplines meets regularly to discuss the ways in which we develop 'design thinking' in our students; that is, the application of processes and methodologies associated with design to identifying, framing and solving problems (or creating experiences) in any domain or realm.
Joshua Bowman (Mathematics & Statistics)
Teaching with Objects
Kiki Smith (Theater)
Most disciplines here at Smith are built around the word and texts. Most of us learned from text and are trained to teach from texts. Most of us use text as the basis of discussion, analysis and research.
What if there is another way to spark discussion and analysis in the classroom? How about teaching with objects, with material culture? How can we learn to use objects as a learning tool? And what is available and useful to use?
Please join a teaching circle to explore and share methods to teach with objects. We can discuss
- how to teach students to look at and engage critically with objects
- how to find objects in local museums, collections and archives
- how to use representations of more objects online- the advantages and disadvantages of both
- how to locate different types of collections and interfaces available online
Anyone who works with objects in class already and can help us avoid pitfalls would be very welcome.