Please join us on the following Fridays for discussions focused on teaching and learning at Smith. Unless otherwise indicated, we will meet in Neilson Browsing Room from noon until 1 p.m., with lunch provided (meat, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free/grain-free options).
JANUARY 27, 2017
Discussion of Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book, Can We Talk About Race?
Shannon Audley (Education & Child Study)
After teaching high-school science, Professor Audley earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and has taught at Smith College since 2012. Her research is interdisciplinary and currently examines issues surrounding children’s (and teachers’) experience of justice and injustice within the school context.
Please contact the Sherrerd Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are a Smith faculty or staff member and would like a copy of this book. Additional copies are also on reserve at Neilson Library.
FEBRUARY 3, 2017
This TAL will include reflections from four Smith faculty members on Peer Teaching Partnerships.
Pedagogy in and beyond the classroom
Mukaram Hhana (History) & JT Roane (Africana Studies)
While we initially imagined our feedback and scholarly community building to simply edify our pedagogies inside the classroom, the relationship we built took on new dimensions in the political climate leading up to and following the national elections. Faced with anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-Black rhetorical and physical violence, we hosted a series of on campus safe-spaces in which we sought to model and practice community through cross-racial dialogue. The results of this team-teaching effort outside the classroom, in turn, positively affected our pedagogy in our courses for the semester. In our talk, we will narrate these developments and discuss how the lessons will continue to shape the ways that we approach teaching.
Co-teaching, Co-llaborating, Co-learning
Suzanne Gottschang (Anthropology/East Asian Studies) & Susannah Howe (Engineering)
Suzanne Gottschang (Anthropology/East Asian Studies) and Susannah Howe (Engineering) have explored and greatly benefited from our collaborations over two years in several classes. In 2015-2016, with funding from a Course Enhancement Grant from the Design Thinking Initiative, we co-advised an interdisciplinary student team via the Engineering Design Clinic class that included students from engineering, anthropology, and computer science on a project with a Baystate Health System pediatric clinic. As part of this collaboration, Suzanne sat in on Susannah's EGR capstone class for the entire year, observing Susannah's approaches and providing informed feedback. This year, with support from another DT grant, Susannah is sitting in on two of Suzanne's ANT classes, one each semester, to learn about ANT approaches and build a foundation for future cross-departmental collaborations. In this panel we will discuss how we coordinated our class shadowing, what we learned from the experiences, and how the collaborations have impacted our teaching.
FEBRUARY 10, 2017
The Benefits of Slowing Down
Floyd Cheung (Director of the Sherrerd Center for Teaching & Learning)
As a result of the snow storm, our scheduled guest presenter, Debbie Bial from the Posse Foundation, will not be able to lead our Teaching Arts Luncheon on 2/10. We will work with her to reschedule.
We invite you to join us in a spontaneous Teaching Arts Luncheon about "The Benefits of Slowing Down" both in our own lives and for student learning. Floyd will share some ideas from Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy and techniques for managing the pace of a class for the benefit of all students.
Jennifer L. Roberts -The Power of Patience: Teaching students the value of deceleration and immersive attention. Harvard Magazine. November-December 2013
James M. Lang - Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class. The Chronicle of Higher Education. January 11, 2016.
James M. Lang - Small Changes in Teaching: The Last 5 Minutes of Class. The Chronicle of Higher Education. March 7, 2016.
Maggie Berg & Barbara Seeber. Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. University of Toronto Press. April 2016. Available in the Sherrerd Center's Resource Library.
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Electronic Submission of Assignments and Marking Digitally
Marney Pratt (Biology)
Why embrace technology to the point of giving students feedback digitally? Not only does it save paper, but there are many other good reasons to do it as well. Of course there are also drawbacks to doing everything digitally. We will discuss the pros and cons of marking digitally as well as see some examples of how it can be done. We will discuss some methods for electronic submission, digital marking, and how to get your feedback back to students.
MARCH 3, 2017
Ada Comstock Scholars’ Experiences in the Classroom
Andrea Rossi-Reder (Dean of Ada Comstock Scholars)
Katie Wing & Maria Wood (Ada Class Presidents)
Dean Rossi-Reder will provide an update on the Ada Comstock Scholars Program, and we will hear from several Ada Comstock Scholars themselves about their experience as learners in Smith College classrooms.
MARCH 24, 2017
Blind Grading in the Undergraduate Classroom
Alice Hearst (Government) & Tina Wildhagen (Sociology)
Undergraduate classrooms in liberal arts colleges often pride themselves on creating strong ties between students and faculty. That relationship, however, can be problematic when it comes to grading, as students frequently build expectations around the relationship between grades and class participation. Tina Wildhagen (Soc) and Alice Hearst (Gov) will discuss their experiences with blind grading, and will offer suggestions about how, when and where to utilize blind grading.
MARCH 31, 2017
Making the Most out of the Mellon Student-Faculty Collaboration Grant
Marnie Anderson (History)
Mehammed Mack (French)
Reyes Lazaro (Spanish & Portuguese)
We reflect on our experiences running three distinct student-faculty collaborative grants over the past academic year.
APRIL 7, 2017
Inclusiveness in Office Hours and Advising
Scott Bradbury (Classical Languages & Literatures)
APRIL 14, 2017
What’s Up with Writing at Smith?
Julio Alves (Director of the Jacobson Center & Co-chair of the Writing Committee)
Alice Hearst (Director of the First Year Seminar Program & Co-chair of the Writing Committee)
Cate Rowen (Executive Director for Institutional Research and Educational Assessment)
Minh Ly (Associate Director for Assessment)
Join members of the Writing Committee and the Office of Institutional Research for a discussion about writing. We will review data from a recent assessment along with data gathered through the Cycles Survey, for which we asked students to identify what helped them improve as writers in their four years at Smith. We will also discuss some ideas emerging from the recent outside assessment of the writing program as a whole.
APRIL 28, 2017
Creating Inclusive Classrooms
Dwight Hamilton (VP for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity)