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Monday, February 4, 2013

The Grand Teaching Experiment (3)

Friday, we had our first "discussion" class. I still call them that, although now every class is a discussion class. But these ones are meant to be more wide-ranging and, more specifically, devoted more to criticism and evaluation than to exposition and understanding.
When I've taught courses with this same sort of structure before—lectures Monday and Wednesday, discussion on Friday—the discussion sessions have rarely flowed well. They had a tendency to turn into question and answer sessions, with not a whole lot of actual discussion. This one was much better, amazingly better given that it was the first one, so early in the semester. So perhaps that is a good sign.
It doesn't hurt, of course, that the class is full of students with a lot of philosophical experience, and that many of them have taken at least one course with me before, some of them many more than that. But still.

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