Blog Post titled “Assessing Active Learning Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” for Visible Pedagogy
The conversation below is based on our visits to each other’s classes, which was facilitated by the Classroom Visit Exchange program, part of the TLC’s Open Teaching Initiative.
Breaking Down the Binaries
Kristen: At the core of my teaching philosophy is a critical pedagogical approach that understands the classroom as a space in which to inform students about their world/city and prepare and encourage them to play an active role in shaping that world/city. This involves breaking down the hierarchies embedded in the structure of the classroom—between faculty and students, among students themselves, and between ‘course material’ and ‘the real world’—and situating our class as a community of learners in which a diversity of backgrounds and opinions is celebrated as wef analyze the world around us.
Ryan: Like you, Kristen, I’m concerned with breaking down the false binary between the ‘real world’ and the classroom. I am invested in creating the classroom as a place where skills grow and students have the chance to practice these skills. I aim to make my pedagogy as transparent as possible, and I am explicit with students about the “why” as much as the “what” of our work together. To this end, I also ask students to invest in thinking about their own learning process and to actively reflect on their learning throughout the course of the semester. I’m a strong supporter of self-assessment as the gateway to deep learning. I start the semester by building a class constitution with the students.