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HGSE TLL News: October 2016

An issue of the HGSE Teaching and Learning Lab newsletter provides strategies to meet the challenge of teaching about race and racism.

Tips for Dealing with Hot Moments (Bok Center)

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning shares ways to turn difficult encounters into learning opportunities for managing hot moments in the classroom as well as a quick-tip sheet.

Difficult topics: Seeking and considering alternative viewpoints in the classroom


Meira LevinsonMeira Levinson, Professor of Education, develops case studies about difficult questions in educational ethics—for example, grade inflation, charter schools, and policies that disproportionately impact low-income students of color—for A203 Educational Justice students to debate and discuss the ethical dimensions of educational practice and policy.  

The benefits: In addition to in-depth content analysis, case discussions illuminate different views among students who may have expected they were in like-minded company.

Problems and puzzles: Boosting engagement with interactivity


Joshua GreeneJoshua Greene, Professor of Psychology, designs course sessions for maximum engagement by creating interactive opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to grapple with problems and challenge one another. “It’s not a puzzle if there are not two competing, compelling arguments. I try to use students’ natural inclinations to achieve my pedagogical purposes—if they’re not at least a little confused, then I’m not doing my job.”

The benefits: Organizing both seminar-style discussions and large lecture lessons around a practical disagreement engages students

The Benefit of Interactive Learning

A 2014 Harvard Graduate School of Education Master Class featured physics professor Eric Mazur on peer instruction, an interactive method for teaching large lectures.

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