The New College Classroom

Professor Cathy Davidson and Dr. Christina Katopodis held an extraordinary event for the release of their new book The New College Classroom. In which they talk about their changing methods of teaching.  Engaging with individuals in person and via zoom, they break down various reasons why the 19th century method of teaching needs to change and adapt new ways.  This will be beneficial to students as well as teachers.  Every student may have a different way of learning, some may benefit from working on their own, some may be person to person.  Teachers were able to express what they least liked about teaching and grading was number one. Less grading will provide more time on context stuff which will help and provide more time with students.  In the presentation they mention the word “unlearn” at one point.   Pertaining to things we may have learned in the past as the proper way of teaching, but with the progression of time teaching methods should adjust.  This reminds me of a book I read called Unlearn by Humble the Poet.  The book talks about providing essential tools to make us reach our full potential. We may have to unlearn things that were passed down to us.  Similar to what Professor Davidson and Dr. Katapodis are trying to do this with their new book.   

There were a few points that resonated with me and definitely should be addressed in classrooms today.  One topic they spoke on was the fact that she allowed her students to vote like a democratic system if they wanted to have a midterm or multiple assignments.  Allowing the children to have this option is something that I felt is genuinely caring.  With having so many deadlines in various classes and life it provides a sense of pressure for some students.  Not everyone works well under pressure and may want the one assignment as we saw in the presentation. Upon writing this myself today I have four assignments due today. Pressure starts to build and anxiety kicks in with the thought of having so much due in one day. 

 Providing students with feedback is essential to acknowledge possible weak points to which a student can work on.  We all can use feedback and should take it positively and not look at it in a negative manner.   

Another point on which they spoke on, students having the thought of  just needing to get by and pass a class.  Mentioning how everything learned in college will be used in our lives is a great talk to have with students. Because what I’m learning now is something I will need in my life journey.  My thoughts regarding math would be I’m never going to use this stuff in my life, until someone proved me wrong.  This happened to be a social media post I saw while taking a math class. There is a  simple linear equation  y=mx+b in which the post broke down.  Let’s say you see a job posting with a $500 signing bonus with a $18 a hr pay rate and you want to figure out how much you will make a week. By using the same linear equation you learned in math you will know what your weekly pay will be.  

We’ve grown as a society as we can see through technology.  We left VHS, tapes, and CDs in the past so it’s about time we leave the 19th century style of teaching there as well.

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